Footpad dermatitis in poultry: a common issue in commercial and backyard flocks

Published on: 08/04/2021
Author/s : Dr. Leonie Jacobs, Virginia Tech. Reviewers: Dr. Prafulla Regmi, North Carolina State University; Dr. Marisa Erasmus, Purdue University; Dr. Shawna Weimer, University of Maryland.

Footpad dermatitis is a common type of contact dermatitis in poultry, which means feet are inflamed and show associated corrosive lesions or ulcers on pads and/or toes. Footpad dermatitis lesions often have a black appearance, because of cell necrosis (cell death). These lesions can be superficial or deep.These lesions are an animal welfare problem because they are painful depending on the severit...

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August 4, 2021

in my experience, footpad dermatitis is usually seen in cage system of rearing of layer chicks with more birds per cage. This is because of damage caused by cage wires if their gauge of wires is narrow and also sharp nails also cause injury.
In broilers, it depends on the material used, wet litter and more ammonia in sheds.

Dr. Md. Beplob Hossain(DVM, MS Medicine) Bangladesh Dr. Md. Beplob Hossain(DVM, MS Medicine) Bangladesh
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine(PSTU) & MS Medicine(HSTU)
August 7, 2021
Footpad dermatitis is a serious problem in laying birds specially. In my practical experience only I see this problem in laying birds, not common in broiler birds. There are various cause responsible to footpad dermatitis -
* E.Coli & Staphylococcus spp infection
* Unconsciousness management of litter & Using litter mainly Swa dust
* Wet litter & High Amonia gas present in shed
* Also most common seen Macha System rearing birds due to Rough macha & difficulty for walking & sitting, standing in laying birds. Cage system also responsible.
August 9, 2021
We have seen a 25%.50% reduction of the nº of birds affected by footpad dermatitis after a program with essential oils that target gut health. The trials have been made with broilers raised on rice husk litter.
Zahed Abbasi Zahed Abbasi
May 24, 2022

Aside from material be used for litter that must have enough capacity to absorb water from faeces and waterer, enteritis and feed passage will exacerbate the bacterial growth and ammonia gas in house that induces footpad dermatitis. Hence management of gut health will be effective in preventing footpad dermatitis. Therefore, not only essential oil but also other product like prebiotic can be effective in preventing it.

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Dr. Sahil Kalia, Ph.D.
Dr. Sahil Kalia, Ph.D.
PhD, Postdoc, Cornell University, USA
  Ithaca, New York, United States
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