Livestock farmers should be wary of their stock walking through wet pastures as it may cause foot abscess.
Central Tablelands Local Land Services district veterinarian Dr Bruce Watt said the bacteria that normally reside in soil and manure can penetrate damaged skin causing a painful infection in the tissues inside the foot.
"The bacteria can invade the bones and joints of the foot setting up a painful infection but can be treated early with antibiotics," he said.
"In many cases, after a few days, these bacteria then invade the bones and joints of the foot setting up a painful osteoarthritis."
Dr Watt added foot bathing with 10 per cent zinc sulphate does help cure the interdigital skin infection that renders sheep susceptible to foot abscess but the benefit is only temporary.
"If sheep have to come through yards anyway, then an exit footbath is worth considering but most producers that I speak to are reluctant to yard ewes just to footbath them," he said.
"Foot bathing does not help cure foot abscess."
According to Dr Watt, rams are vulnerable to foot abscess and in heavy ewes especially those bearing multiples and on clover dominated pastures.
If livestock farmers are in doubt about the their livestock's diagnosis Mr Watts said to call your veterinarian to investigate the issue.
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