Accurately identifying specific lesions is critical for treatment and prevention plans. This article provides standardized names, abbreviations, descriptions and photos of the 14 claw lesions agreed upon by the International Bovine Lameness Committee.
Although feeding and management have the most important short-term impact on hoof health, the role of genetics, although a longer-term influence, cannot be overlooked. Sweden has promoted breeding for healthy cows, maintaining high production for several decades. In 2006, a breeding value for claw health based on data recorded by hoof trimmers started to be included in the health profile.
Laminitis refers to a condition that impairs the circulation in the horn-producing tissues of the foot (corium). The disease results in the hoof producing poor-quality horn, which leads to increased injury from concussion and other causes.
A study conducted on 18 Dutch dairy farms provides insight into how footbaths can go wrong.
‘Bovine Laminitis and Lameness’ describes the anatomy of the bovine hoof and claw and the causes of lameness, including the importance of genetics, structural conformation of the leg and hoof, nutrition, management, cow comfort and facilities that minimize injuries.
Digital Dermatitis (DD), also known as Hairy Foot Warts, Strawberry Foot Rot, Mortellaro’s Disease and Rasperry Heel, has become the most prevalent infectious hoof disorder on many dairy farms. Dr. Paul Greenough, in his book ‘Bovine Laminitis and Lameness’ recommends treatment for animals infected with DD.
A study conducted at the University of Munich, Germany compared the effects of rubber-matted versus slatted concrete flooring on claw health and milk yield in loose-housed dairy cows.