Hoof blocks, fixed under one claw to allow the other claw to recover from corrective trimming, are used to reduce pain during the healing process. A German trial compared the use of uniform thickness wood and flexible synthetic hoof blocks with wedge-shaped blocks of the same materials. Block dimensions were as follows:
- uniform thickness wood block: 130 mm long, 22-23 mm thick;
- uniform thickness flexible block (Walkease): 120 mm long, 20 mm thick;
- wedge-shaped wood block: 130 mm long, 23 mm thick at heel, 15 mm thick at toe;
- wedge-shaped flexible block (Wedgie): 120 mm long, 20 mm thick at heel, 15 mm thick at toe.
The wood blocks were fixed with a fast-setting adhesive (Technovit-2-Bond, Heraeus-Kulzer GmbH, Wehrheim, Germany). The flexible blocks, made of a specially-formulated ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) of 70 Shore-A hardness, were fixed with a specially-formulated “Super Glue-type“ cyanoacrylate adhesive (Walkease, Shoof International Ltd, Cambridge, New Zealand).
Compared to the uniform thickness blocks, the wedge blocks allowed better locomotion. The flexible blocks are a good alternative to wood blocks and can heighten the claw for 10 to 20 days. These blocks give the best support within the first ten days, falling off after 7 to 20 days so it is not necessary for the farmer to remove them himself. Wood blocks have to be removed after three weeks – there is no further improvement during this extended time and problems can arise due to their loss of shape and structure.
Hoof Block Retention
|Day||Uniform Thickness Wood Block||Wedge-Shaped Wood Block||Uniform Thickness Flexible Block||Wedge-Shaped Flexible Block|
|Number of blocks applied (day 0) and retained (days 10, 20, 44)|
source: J Maierl, A Fiedler, D Döpfer, J Haas, R Höfler, H Kellhuber, M Moosbauer, H Warmedinger; 17th International Symposium and 9th International Conference on Lameness in Ruminants; Bristol, UK; Aug 11-14, 2013; page 144.