Economic Impact of Digital Dermatitis, Footrot and Bovine Respiratory Disease in Feedlot Cattle
Translational Animal Science
Digital dermatitis has emerged in North American feedlots, although production and economic impacts are not fully understood. Objectives of this study were to: 1) estimate economic impact of a single case of digital dermatitis (DD), foot rot (FR) and bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in feedlot cattle; and 2) determine its impact on average daily gain (ADG). Feedlot cattle health and production records were available from 2 feedlots for a 3-year interval. The dataset consisted of 77,115 animal
... of 77,115 animal records, with 19.3% (14,900) diagnosed with a disease. Diseased animals were categorized in 5 groups: DD, FR, BRD, other diseases (OT) and 2 or more diseases (TM), with a treatment cumulative incidence of 6.0, 59.1, 10.7, 12.7 and 11.5%, respectively. Foot rot was the disease with the highest cumulative incidence in both heifers and steers (58.8 and 59.6%, respectively). Of all fall placed cattle diagnosed with any disease, 48.1% of cases were FR. Digital dermatitis affected the partial budget in 5 out of the 8 groups of cattle, with the highest impact of DD seen in grass yearling heifers (GYH) and grass yearling steers (GYS): $-98 and $-96 CAD, respectively relative to their healthier counterparts. Healthy cattle had a significantly higher ADG compared to DD cattle in 5 of 8 categories, ranging from 0.11 kg/d in winter placed heifers to 0.17 kg/d in fall placed steers. In the economic analysis it was concluded that on an individual animal basis BRD was the most impactful of all analyzed diseases, where DD was second, marking the importance of controlling and mitigating this foot condition. Identifying differential effects of diseases on a partial budget analysis and ADG of the types of cattle stratified by sex, enables feedlot producers to focus control and mitigation strategies on specific groups.