One of the main causes of lameness in sheep is contagious ovine digital dermatitis (CODD), which is spread by sheep-to-sheep interaction, according to Catherine O’Leary, a vet from MSD Animal Health.

In this video she recommends that, when buying stock, farmers should be very careful – as the disease enters the flock by bringing in affected animals.

Once in the flock, CODD can have an explosive impact and should be treated immediately before it gets out of control, Catherine says.

“It’s very distinctive compared to the other infectious diseases of lameness as it starts at the cononary band, footrot starts at the base of the hoof and scald occurs between on the skin at the back of the hoof.”

CODD starts off at the top of cononary band and causes the hoof capsule to shell off as it works its way down the hoof, Catherine says and if it’s not treated as soon as possible it can lead to the entire hoof capsule to come off and not grow back properly, in severe cases.

She recommends consulting your local vet for treatments as they are different to those that are practiced on footrot and scald. She says, to get the vets opinion on the best antibiotics to use in the footbath when treating for CODD.