Hoof Trimming

DairySmid does hoof trimming throughout South Africa and internationally, on mainly Dairy Cattle, Beef Cattle and Wild Game.

For trimming within South Africa please feel free to contact the office nearest to you so that one of our helpful staff may assist in addressing your needs, you can view our locations by clicking here.

Please do not hesitate to call us as we aim to address your hoof trimming needs as quickly as we can. If you are not based in South Africa and wish for us to assist you in another country, phone DairySmid or drop us an email to get a swift response, for our contact details please view the Contact page or click here.

Riaan van Zyl Interview -
The Importance of Hoof Trimming

Hoof Trimming in action

Wherever you are based we will assist and ensure that your hoof trimming needs are met.


DairySmid offers consultations free of charge for regular maintenance clients, through onsite inspection, Skype, telephonic or via email, in south Africa.

For international consulting please contact our office.

It is recommended that you email to us photos related to your enquiry, so that we may better understand the issue and the probable cause thereof.

Please use our Hoof Reference Library below to compare hoof related issues. 

Hoof Reference Library

The Hoof Reference Library is designed for you to match probable hoof diseases by comparing instances of your cattle hoof issues with the pictures in the library in order to determine a probable disease or illness.

With the Hoof Reference Library there are included probable issue associated with the illness.

Claw Hoof Zones

Hoof Trimming Claw Hoof Zones

Non-Infectious Lesions

White Line Lesion

Zones affected: 3

Common signs:

  • In mild cases, a void occurs in the junction between the sole and the wall.
  • In severe cases, abscesses form, generally at the heel-sole-wall juncture (zone 3).

Sole Ulcer

Zones affected: 4

Common signs:

  • Raw sore (horn erosive defect) occurring at sole-heel junction on inner side of outside hind claw.
  • Often occurs in both outside hind claws (when present).

Sole Hemorrhage

Zones affected: 4, 5, 6

Common signs:

  • Slight to significant red (or blue) coloration of the sole.
  • Not to be confused with natural black pigmentation of claw horn.

Toe Ulcer

Zones affected: 1, 2 & 5

Common signs:

  • Black mark, blood stain and/or rupture in white line or sole at the toe.
  • Caused by rotation of pedal bone within the claw pressing down on the sole or thin soles.

Corkscrew Claw

Zones affected: 7

Common signs:

  • Rapid irregular growth of the claw with rotation.
  • Sole displaced inward and rear.
  • Causes difficulty walking.

Horizontal Fissure

Zones affected: 7, 8

Common signs:

  • Claw wall parallel to the hair-line cracks and eventually breaks off.
  • Caused by nutritional or metabolic stress.

Vertical Fissure

Zones affected: 7, 8

Common signs:

  • Vertical split in front or side of claw.
  • Occurs primarily on outside of front claws.
  • Often the most painful cause of lameness.

Axial Fissure

Zones affected: 11, 12

Common signs:

  • Deep groove on interior surface of claw wall parallel to front claw surface.
  • Bleeding may indicate lesion presence.
  • Mild to severe lameness.

Thin Sole

Zones affected: 5

Common signs:

  • Sole is thin and flexible when pressure is applied.
  • Caused by insufficient length of toe, excessive wear or over trimming.
  • Minimum claw length of 7.5 cm does not apply to heifers or animals that weigh less than 400 kg.

Formaldehyde Burn

Zones affected: 9

Common signs:

  • Severe skin damage on the correnet and in the zone 9 area.
  • Caused by the use of too strong formaldehyde foot baths.

Deep Flexor Tendon

Zones affected: 3, 4, 6

Common signs:

  • Only one of the eight claws are affected. The affected claw`s toe stands up in the air and does not touch the ground.
  • Caused by severe sole ulcers or white line lesions that were neglected and not treated, over a long period of time.

Sole Fracture

Zones affected: 6 of the inner claw

Common signs:

  • A breakdown between the sole horn and heel horn on the inner claw of the hind legs.
  • Caused by heat stress and too much standing.

Infectious Lesions

Foot Rot

Zones affected: 0, 9

Common signs:

  • Swelling of the entire foot (equally) including the dew claws.
  • Separation of digits, infection produces a noticeable foul odor.
  • Animals will likely have a fever.

Digital Dermititis

Zones affected: 0, 9, 10

Common signs:

  • Raw, bright red or black circular growth above the heel bulbs, with edges forming a white opaque ring or hard, thin, hairy, wart like growths or sores.
  • Affected cattle are reluctant to walk or are lame.

Heel Erosion

Zones affected: 6

Common signs:

  • Severe erosion of heels in irregular pit like depressions or “V” shaped grooves causing lameness.
  • Instability of the claw due to lost or damaged horn resulting in uneven weight bearing.
  • Heel becomes sore as erosion progresses.

Call us to address your hoof trimming needs