University of Wisconsin–Madison

Old Problems, New Breakthroughs

Important new research at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine is changing the way beef and dairy farmers treat digital dermatitis, a disease that has caused painful hoof lesions and hindered animal welfare and food production for nearly 40 years.

Our scientists developed an infection model that can reproduce the disease in a controlled setting and allows them to test exciting new treatment methods, such as supplementing cattle diets with trace minerals that help cure digital dermatitis and exploring a safer, more effective hoof bath solution.

For the first time ever, these new treatments have helped bring better understanding to the role specific bacteria play in the disease. It’s another example of innovative thinking creating new breakthroughs in animal care at the School of Veterinary Medicine.