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Article

Prevalence and Temporal Dynamics of White Line Disease in Sheep: An Exploratory Investigation into Disease Distribution and Associated Risk Factors

1
Department of Veterinary Health & Animal Sciences, Harper Adams University, Newport, Shropshire TF10 8NB, UK
2
International Office, Veterinary Medicines Directorate, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Patrick Butaye
Received: 28 May 2021 / Revised: 14 June 2021 / Accepted: 18 June 2021 / Published: 19 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Veterinary Medicine)
Lameness in sheep is a global health, welfare and economic concern. White line disease (WLD), also known as shelly hoof, is a prevalent, non-infectious cause of lameness, characterised by the breakdown of the white line. Little is known about the predisposing factors, nor the individual disease dynamics over time. Our exploratory study aimed to investigate the prevalence and temporal dynamics of WLD, and the associated risk factors. Feet of 400 ewes from four UK commercial sheep farms were inspected for WLD at four time points across 12 months. The change in WLD state at foot-level (develop or recover) was calculated for three transition periods. We present WLD to be widespread, affecting 46.8% of foot-level and 76.6% of sheep-level observations. States in WLD changed over time, with feet readily developing and recovering from WLD within the study period. The presence of WLD at foot-level, the number of feet affected at sheep-level and dynamics in development and recovery were driven by a variety of foot-, sheep- and farm-level factors. We provide key insight into the multifaceted aetiology of WLD and corroborate previous studies demonstrating its multifactorial nature. Our study highlights an opportunity to reduce WLD prevalence and informs hypotheses for future prospective studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: lameness; sheep; white line disease; shelly hoof; white line; prevalence; disease dynamics; risk factors lameness; sheep; white line disease; shelly hoof; white line; prevalence; disease dynamics; risk factors
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MDPI and ACS Style

Best, C.M.; Roden, J.; Phillips, K.; Pyatt, A.Z.; Behnke, M.C. Prevalence and Temporal Dynamics of White Line Disease in Sheep: An Exploratory Investigation into Disease Distribution and Associated Risk Factors. Vet. Sci. 2021, 8, 116. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/vetsci8060116

AMA Style

Best CM, Roden J, Phillips K, Pyatt AZ, Behnke MC. Prevalence and Temporal Dynamics of White Line Disease in Sheep: An Exploratory Investigation into Disease Distribution and Associated Risk Factors. Veterinary Sciences. 2021; 8(6):116. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/vetsci8060116

Chicago/Turabian Style

Best, Caroline M., Janet Roden, Kate Phillips, Alison Z. Pyatt, and Malgorzata C. Behnke 2021. "Prevalence and Temporal Dynamics of White Line Disease in Sheep: An Exploratory Investigation into Disease Distribution and Associated Risk Factors" Veterinary Sciences 8, no. 6: 116. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/vetsci8060116

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