The greater the manure contamination of the lower leg, the more frequently cows should be foot bathed. While some farms with excellent leg hygiene may use a footbath only once a week, others must footbath 5-7 days per week.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin conducted a study using a custom-designed footbath to test four different bath dimensions with two different step-in heights. Optimum dimensions to maximize foot immersions while limiting solution volume are recommended.
A study by researchers at Cornell University examined the association between claw horn lesions and the thickness of the digital cushion. Results suggest that thin digital cushions, related to low body condition score, may be a factor in the development of sole ulcers and white line lesions.
To investigate the association between locomotion score and the presence of hoof lesions, researchers examined 10,699 cows from 91 dairy herds in southern Chile. Locomotion score was recorded on a scale of 1-5 using the Sprecher system. Lesions were recorded by observation of all four feet with each cow standing in a metal crush. Locomotion scoring was a relatively insensitive method for the detection of some important claw lesions.
Dr. Dörte Döpfer at the University of Wisconsin, describes the dynamics of digital dermatitis infection as a cycle with 6 distinct stages.
The US National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Program advocates the use of a simple 3-point locomotion scoring system to identify lame dairy cows.
Twenty-five professional hoof trimmers recorded hoof lesion occurrence in over 80,000 cows during regular trimming visits to 578 dairy farms in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. Digital dermatitis and claw horn disruption accounted for 84% of all lesions observed.
An excerpt from a video produced by the University of Zurich illustrates a claw trimming strategy aimed at achieving balance between inner and outer claws to minimize trauma to the corium.
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.
A short video excerpt from a video produced by the University of Zurich describes the anatomy of the bovine hoof.