Slurry/heel erosion

Slurry heel or heel erosion is associated with interdigital dermatitis. The cause is multifactorial with a bacterial component superficial. The skin becomes greyish, sweaty, smelly with no obvious lameness. The inflammation extends to the heel and erodes it, V-shaped fissures appear and poor-quality black horn is produced.

There is a reduction of horn production at the heel and an increase in horn production elsewhere in the hoof: lengthening, sometimes with elevation. Regular foot bathing helps to improve horn quality and reduce the incidence of slurry/heel erosion.

Mild lameness may appear and various complications arise such as:

  • Double or false sole
  • bruised sole
  • sole ulcer