Digital dermatitis is an inflammation of uncertain aetiology in the skin of the foot of cattle. In 2005, a novel microorganism, Guggenheimella bovis, was isolated from the advancing front of digital dermatitis lesions, suggesting a possible role in pathogenesis. In the present study, tissue samples of 20 affected cows were examined by quantitative PCR for G. bovis, treponemes and the total eubacterial load. High numbers of eubacteria and treponemes were found in most lesions, whereas only a few lesions contained Guggenheimella, and only at low concentrations. The results argue against the relevance of G. bovis in the aetiology of digital dermatitis in cattle, but are consistent with a role for treponemes.