DISEASE LINK PAGE

Sole Overgrowth in Elephants

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Summary Information
Diseases / List of Miscellaneous / Metabolic / Multifactorial Diseases / Disease link

This disease page is currently being used in Wildpro to link different data types and demonstrate inter-relationships. Whilst basic information is available, it does not contain comprehensive information.

Alternative Names See also:
Disease Agents

 

  • Predisposing factors that may lead to foot diseases in captive elephants include lack of exercise, lack of regular foot care and inspection, nail and sole overgrowth and lack of trimming, inappropriate enclosure surfaces (hard unyielding substrates contribute to the development of foot problems, for example by trauma and by lack of opportunity for digging), constant direct contact with dirty and wet surfaces in which pathogens can proliferate, malnutrition, excess feeding/insufficient exercise leading to overweight elephants which put more stress on their feet, arthritis and inherited poor foot structure. (B22.34.w12, B454.1.w1, B454.16.w16)
  • Lack of wear. (J4.177.w2)

Further information on Disease Agents has only been incorporated for agents recorded in species for which a full Wildpro "Health and Management" module has been completed (i.e. for which a comprehensive literature review has been undertaken). Only those agents with further information available are linked below:

Infectious Agent(s) --
Non-infectious Agent(s) --
Physical Agent(s) --
General Description

In Elephants:

  • The elephant's sole is a broad and relatively flat surface. (B22.34.w12)
  • The sole normally grows by about 0.5 - 1.0 cm per month; lack of adequate wear and insufficient regular foot care of the sole result in overgrowth. (B10.49.w21, B64.27.w4, J4.177.w2)
  • Overgrown soles may develop pockets, so that they present a mosaic appearance of ridges and grooves. (B22.34.w12)
  • Overgrown soles may be complicated with secondary infection and abscessation. (B64.27.w4)

Clinical signs:

  • Foot shape appears irregular and ragged. (B10.49.w21)
  • The sole appears layered. (B10.49.w21)
  • Pain. (B10.49.w21. B64.27.w4)
  • Lameness. (B10.49.w21, B22.34.w12)
  • Reluctance to move. (B22.34.w12)
  • Pruritis. (B10.49.w21, B64.27.w4)
  • Fissures on the sole. (B10.49.w21, B64.27.w4)
Further Information Treatment:
  • Trimming with a drawing knife, making sure to shave off one thin sheet of overgrown sole at the time. The grooves an cavities can be pared out with a sharp hoof knife. A yellowish-pink keratin colour appearing on the trimmed sole indicates the corium is close, therefore no more trimming is necessary. (B22.34.w12, B64.27.w4, J4.177.w2)
    • Explore all cracks, streaks or tracks for foci of infection. (B10.35.w9)
    • Using a sharp hoof knife, remove black tracts and chalky areas; pare out pockets and tracts down to healthy keratin, being sure that drainage is established from any pocket of infection. (B22.34.w12, J4.177.w2)
  • Severely overgrown soles may require may require several episodes of trimming. (B22.34.w12)
  • A rasp may be used instead of a drawing knife, but takes much more time and effort. (J4.177.w2)

Prevention:

  • Adequate regular inspection and foot trimming. (B10.49.w21, B64.27.w4, B214.3.7.w3, P5.39.w1)
  • Excess sole should be trimmed regularly using a Swiss cutting knife and an abrasive pad. (P1.1996.w2)
  • Provision of appropriate, clean and dry, substrates. (B10.49.w21, B214.3.7.w3, B336.53.w53)
    • The substrate should not be too rough. (B336.53.w53)
    • Rubber mats on concrete sleeping areas may be beneficial. (B454.5.w5)
    • A lightly brushed concrete floor is recommended, as it provides an adequate surface. Deep brushed concrete should be avoided since this tends to accumulate faeces and urine, on which bacteria can grow. (J4.171.w5)
  • Regular exercise, preferably on natural substrates. (B454.5.w5)
  • Adequate hygiene. (B454.5.w5)
  • Provision of access to uncontaminated moist substrates and water is beneficial to foot health. (B454.6.w6)
  • Adequate nutrition is recommended to maintain foot health. Biotin, protein and trace elements, such as zinc, selenium and arsenic are some of the nutrients to consider. (B454.3.w3)
Techniques linked to this disease
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Host taxa groups /species Further information on Host species has only been incorporated for species groups for which a full Wildpro "Health and Management" module has been completed (i.e. for which a comprehensive literature review has been undertaken).

(List does not contain all other species groups affected by this disease)

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