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Acta Vet Scand. 1998;39(2):229-36.

Temporal aspects of foot-pad dermatitis in Swedish broilers.

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Department of Animal Environment and Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skara, Sweden.


This study aimed at analysing the temporal aspects of foot-pad dermatitis in Swedish broilers. The information on disease prevalence and severity was based on a 2-year foot-health surveillance programme where information on producer, breed, feed manufacturer, region, abattoir, date of slaughter and several other variables was recorded. The seasonal effects were evaluated using classical multiplicative decomposition time series analysis. This study shows that there has been a significantly consistent decrease in the prevalence of severe foot-pad lesions during the first 2 years of the programme. Looking at the development over time we found a trend-cycle component of 10.4% and a seasonal component of 48.7% resulting in a total adjusted R-square value of 58.5% for the total foot-pad score. This means that almost 60% of the variation in flock foot-pad score can be explained by the variable 'time', and that this variation was mainly related to seasonal effects but also to a general decreasing trend over the study period. However, substantial differences in temporal patterns among slaughterhouses, feed suppliers and regions were found. The time series analysis approach was found to be useful for this type of investigation when evaluating the effects of an intervention programme, and it can also be applied for projecting the future development of disease status in a stable population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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