Hoof health is essential for a beef or dairy cattle herd to perform optimally, and nutrition and good hoof care should form part of any animal health programme.
In this series, we have explained in detail how correct functional trimming can prevent mechanical lameness. The previous article was devoted to the most common form of bacterial lameness in dairy operations, namely digital dermatitis (DD). This can be successfully treated by a professional hoof trimmer, but the emphasis must be on herd prevention.
During winter time, in the summer rainfall areas of South Africa, we observe a higher incidence of bacterial-related lameness in dairy cows. The two major diseases in this category are digital dermatitis and interdigital dermatitis.
In the first few articles of this series, I explained how hard and non-yielding surfaces cause lameness in cows and why we see more mechanical lameness in dairy cows than in beef cows. Although standing on concrete is known to be the single most important risk factor for mechanical lameness, as it is for sole…
Seasonal Lameness. After the good rainy season we had this year, many grazing dairies experienced more lameness than usual. The types of lameness that we found in these situations were thin soles and toe ulcers.
Bacterial Lameness. These lesions are the result of bacterial infections. Examples of conditions causing bacterial lameness are foot rot and digital dermatitis. In general, it is easier to treat bacterial lameness than mechanical lameness.
The role that concrete plays in dairy cow lameness cannot be overemphasised. This is something that was explained in Part 2 of this series. To understand why dairy cows so often become lame in the hind feet, we need to study this aspect.
In this series of different reasons why cows go lame, I want to mention a very important principle, namely, the role that concrete plays in lameness.
In association with The Dairy Mail and the MPO, we decided to plough back the knowledge gained over the past 24 years regarding lameness.