Treatment and Control of CODD

Here is our current best practice advice on the control of CODD:

CODD is only one of the possible causes of lameness on your farm so before embarking on a control plan you must involve your vet to get a diagnosis of the causes of lameness in your sheep and draw up an individual lameness control plan for your farm.

All medicines are prescription only and you can only purchase them through your veterinary surgeon.

1. Biosecuirty

  1. Many farmers believe they bought in disease with infected sheep
  2. Quarantine bought in sheep
  3. Not all sheep with CODD are lame (about 30%) therefore individually check all feet on arrival ‌

2. Treatment of CODD affected sheep

  1. Isolate affected sheep – this helps to stop the spread of infection
  2. Treponema spp. bacteria are susceptible to a number of antibiotics including penicillins.
  • Long acting amoxicillin has been found to give a 78% cure rate, however repeat treatments may be required after 3 days.
  • Tilmicosin injection used twice, two weeks apart has been shown to be very effective at treating affected sheep.
  1. Hoof Trimming: This is not advised for footrot. Foot trimming as a treatment has not been studied in CODD but infection could be spread on hoof trimming equipment, so if necessary only trim affected feet with care (do not   draw blood or damage tissues under the horn) and always clean and disinfect clippers between sheep. Hoof clipped maybe infectious so pick up and dispose of carefully (i.e disinfect or burn).
  2. Whole flock antibiotic treatment is not advised.

3. Footrot

  1. Footrot and CODD are linked so it is important to control both diseases in a lameness control plan. 
  2. For up to date advice on footrot control see pages at Warwick University and also AHDB Beef and Lamb Better Returns for controlling lameness in sheep.

4. Eliminating CODD and footrot from flocks

Elimination of CODD is possible from some flocks. It is recommended to involve your vet to specifically and strategically target this disease on your farm. Key factors to include are controlling footrot to a low level, diligent prompt treatment and isolation of sheep with CODD and excellent biosecurity practices. Whole flock treatment is not advised. The elimination of footrot is unlikely to be possible in the UK.

Further information can be found in the following published papers:

Duncan, J.S., Grove-White, D., Moks, E., Carroll, D., Oultram, J.W., Phythian, C.J., and Williams, H.W., (2012). Impact of footrot vaccination and antibiotic therapy on footrot and contagious ovine digital dermatitis. Veterinary Record 170(18): 462-U461

Angell, J.W., Clegg, S.R., Sullivan, L.E., Duncan, J.S., Grove-White, D.H., Carter, S.D., and Evans, N.J., (2015). In vitro susceptibility of contagious ovine digital dermatitis associated Treponema spp. isolates to antimicrobial agents in the UK. VeterinaryDermatology 26(6): 484-e115

Angell, J.W., Grove-White, D.H., Williams, H.J., and Duncan, J.S., (2016). Whole-flock metaphylactic tilmicosin failed to eliminate contagious ovine digital dermatitis and footrot in sheep: a cluster randomised trial. Veterinary Record In Press