At the 2018 Western Canadian Dairy Seminar, Dr. Gerard Cramer explained how cows can become chronically lame if damage to their hooves is not treated early and if there is no follow-up evaluation.
Although it is commonly believed that the primary cause of claw horn lesions in dairy cattle is rumen acidosis, resulting from the feeding of highly fermentable diets, there is no conclusive scientific evidence to support this idea. Recent research supports alternative explanations.
Researchers at the University of Nottingham, UK have shown that untreated sole hemorrhage, sole ulcers and white line lesions can lead to excess bone development at the caudal end of the pedal bone, resulting in chronic lameness.
Results of a recent trial in the UK demonstrate that the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicine in addition to a therapeutic trim and supporting hoof block produced the highest cure rates for sole ulcers and white line lesions.
A short video clip illustrating slow motion gait analysis reveals how walking on hard surfaces causes trauma to the claw leading to sole hemorrhage, white line lesions and sole ulcers.