Vic Daniel has been trimming dairy cattle hooves in southern Ontario for over 30 years. In that time, he has seen digital dermatitis (DD) become by far the most common hoof lesion in his clients’ herds. Vic has kept detailed records of the claws he has trimmed—for the past 7 years using the Hoof Supervisor® lesion recording system.
The chart below summarizes what Vic considers the main risk factors for DD. One of the important risk factors that he identifies is interdigital cleft space (IDCS). At the 2011 International Conference on Lameness in Ruminants in New Zealand, Vic presented data that he had collected demonstrating that Holsteins with an IDCS of greater than 3.81 mm had a 5% infection risk for DD or interdigital dermatitis compared to a 39.0% risk for cows with an IDCS of less than 3.1 mm. His complete report is here.
A high-quality pdf version of this chart is available here.