Foot rot is a hoof disease that occurs in sheep and cattle. It is caused by bacteria that grow as a result of excessively wet conditions. Foot rot is characterised by a separation of the hoof, an abnormal discharge and a foul-smelling odour. If not treated immediately, foot rot causes lameness in the animal. One of the most common and effective treatments for foot rot is soaking the affected hoof in a foot bath containing a mixture of copper sulphate.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Large tub or barrel
- Water, 10 gallons
- Copper sulphate, 3.63 Kilogram
- Shallow plastic tub
- Vinegar, 1 to 2 cups
Pour 10 gallons of hot water into a large tub or barrel. Do not use containers made of metal, as the copper sulphate will corrode them. Choose a container with a lid to store unused solution until needed.
Pour eight pounds of copper sulphate into the water, and mix it thoroughly to dissolve the copper sulphate. The solution will turn blue once the copper sulphate is added. Copper sulphate is available at hardware stores and animal supply stores.
Select a shallow plastic tub to use as the foot bath. The tub should be large enough to completely submerge the hoof of the animal, but not so large that it is uncomfortable for the animal to stand in it.
Fill the container until is it approximately 3 to 4 inches full of the copper sulphate solution.
Place the animal's hoof inside the bath, and allow to soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
Tips and warnings
- Soak the animal's hoof in the copper sulphate foot bath one to two times per week for three weeks.
- Copper sulphate foot baths can also be used as a preventive treatment against foot rot. Preventive treatments should be given after each foot trimming.
- If you have difficulty dissolving the copper sulphate, add one to two cups of vinegar to the mixture to assist in dissolving it.
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