TitleEffect of parenteral selenium administration to sheep on prevalence and recovery from footrot.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsHall, JA, Bailey, DP, Thonstad, KN, Van Saun, RJ
JournalJ Vet Intern Med
Date Published2009 Mar-Apr
KeywordsAnimals, Dichelobacter nodosus, Female, Foot Rot, Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections, Prevalence, Prospective Studies, Selenium, Sheep, Sheep Diseases

BACKGROUND: Insufficient intake of selenium (Se) is common in many regions, and can contribute to increased susceptibility to and prolonged recovery from infectious diseases.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of Se administration in decreasing the severity and prevalence of footrot in sheep.

ANIMALS: Thirty-eight footrot-affected and 19 nonaffected sheep from a commercial flock of known high incidence of footrot.

METHODS: Placebo-controlled, prospective, 15-month clinical trial. Footrot-affected sheep were randomly assigned into 2 groups (n = 19) and injected with either 5 mg Se (footrot [FR]-Se) or saline (FR-Sal) at 1-month intervals for the duration of the study. Unaffected sheep (controls) received no treatment. Sheep feet were examined, trimmed, and scored for footrot with a scale of 0 (no footrot) to 4 (extensive) at 0, 3, 6, 9, and 15 months. Sheep were also bled at time 0 and then at 3, 6, and 15 months to assess whole blood Se concentrations.

RESULTS: At time 0, control sheep (255 +/- 11 ng/mL) had higher (P < .05) whole blood Se concentrations compared with FR-Se (205 +/- 12 ng/mL) and FR-Sal (211 +/- 14 ng/mL) sheep. By 6 months, FR-Se sheep (317 +/- 9 ng/mL) had whole blood Se concentrations greater (P < .05) than both control (281 +/- 14 ng/mL) and FR-Sal (277 +/- 16 ng/mL) sheep. FR-Se ewes showed a faster decline in highest lesion score at 3 (P= .012) and 6 (P= .0036) months, and a greater decrease in the number of feet with foot score >0 at 6 (P= .020) months compared with FR-Sal ewes. Sheep with blood Se concentrations <300 ng/mL were at 3.5 times greater risk (1.1-12.1 confidence interval, odds ratio) for FR, although this relationship was only significant (P= .04) at 6 months of the study.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: In sheep with footrot, improved Se status in conjunction with routine control practices result in more rapid improvement of foot lesions.

Alternate JournalJ Vet Intern Med
PubMed ID19192142