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Identify cause of lameness

Field with lambs
warwick and bristol logos2

Best practice to control footrot
and scald in sheep

Catch and identify

  • The first lame sheep in a group, even if mildy lame (short stride and nodding / flicking their head) ideally immediately, but definitely within 3 days.
  • Aim to inspect 1/3 flock each day and treat any lame sheep
  • Make sure you can identify the cause of lameness (see below for common causes), contact your vet for help if in doubt
  • Do NOT trim sheep with scald or footrot or CODD, these can be diagnosed by smell, trimming delays healing
  • Only trim if necessary to diagnose the problem

(PDF Document) Download information sheet
'Six common causes of lameness'

Six Common Causes

Six common causes of lameness

Scald scald.jpg
  • Red, wet interdigital space
  • May be white/grey pasty scum
  • Loss of hair in interdigital space
Footrot footrot.jpg
  • Separation of horn from the underlying live tissue
  • Starts between claws
  • Foul smelling greyish oozing pus
(Contagious ovine digital dermatitis)
  • Loss of hair above coronary band (hair line)
  • Separation of horn from coronary band
  • Blood with some grey scum, no significant smell
  • May be complete detachment of hoof horn
Shelley Hoof (white line degeneration)
  • Some separation of horn from the wall
  • A pocket impacted with soil
  • Half-moon appearance
Foot Abscess footabscess.jpg
  • Sheep is very lame
  • Swelling of skin or pus oozing above coronary band
  • Hoof horn normal but hot
  • Separation of white line or penetration with
    stone/thorn may be visible
Toe granuloma
  • Strawberry-like growth at the toe
  • Sometimes hidden under overgrown horn
  • Bleeds when handled