Efficacy of formalin, copper sulfate, and a commercial footbath product in the control of digital dermatitis

A. G.V. Teixeira, V. S. Machado, L. S. Caixeta, R. V. Pereira, R. C. Bicalho

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39 Scopus citations


The objective was to evaluate the relative efficacy of a novel, commercially available disinfectant agent (T-Hexx Dragonhyde HBC, Hydromer, Branchburg, NJ) compared with formalin and copper sulfate. The hypothesis was 2 sided; therefore, the hypothesis was that the new agent would be better or worse compared with the industry gold standard footbath agents, formalin and copper sulfate. The study was conducted in a large commercial dairy farm located near Ithaca, New York, from June 18, 2009 to October 26, 2009. Two identical studies were conducted, the first comparing Dragonhyde (5% solution, twice weekly) and formalin (5% solution, twice weekly) and the second comparing Dragonhyde (5% solution, twice weekly) and copper sulfate (10% solution, twice weekly). The study design was identical for both studies with 4 pens (physically identical), 2 treatments (Dragonhyde vs. formalin and Dragonhyde vs. copper sulfate), 2 periods (crossing over the treatment within pen), and 3 repeated measures (3 observations per cow: enrollment, wk 2, and wk 4). For study 1, 406 cows were enrolled (n = 201 formalin and 205 Dragonhyde). For study 2, 356 cows were enrolled (n = 189 copper sulfate and 167 Dragonhyde). The adjusted odds of digital dermatitis lesion (DDL) throughout the study period were analyzed by mixed logistic regression model. In study 1, the odds of DDL were 1.36 times higher for the formalin group compared with the Dragonhyde group. In study 2, the data were analyzed by a similar statistical model and the variable treatment did not significantly affect the overall prevalence of DDL. In conclusion, the performance of 3 hoof care products was evaluated and it was concluded that Dragonhyde performed better than formalin and that there was no difference between copper sulfate and Dragonhyde.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3628-3634
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Dairy cow
  • Footbath
  • Lameness


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