Lameness in cattle

Lameness in cattle
We are always trying to improve the lives of our stock on farm by providing improved animal welfare conditions. The sick skinny cow, the down and scouring calf, and ingrowing horns are all obvious times when we as farmers and Vets should intervene, but have you thought about your lame stock?

Lame cows are painful, and we have a duty as owners of animals to lessen and prevent pain and suffering. So, what can you do to help improve welfare of your lame cows?

Is the cow lame? Firstly, you need to be able to identify that your cows are lame. Cows which are three-legged lame are easy to spot but can you recognise subtle lameness in cows? Dairy NZ has some great videos on line which help you identify and grade lameness in cattle (https://www.dairynz.co.nz/animal/cow-health/lameness/lameness-scoring/).

Identify the cause. Once you have identified the lameness, then pick up the foot and try and identify the cause. If you can’t identify a cause, make sure you contact your local Anexa Veterinarian for further assistance.

Treating appropriately. Once you have identified the lameness, you will need to give the appropriate treatment. This may include applying a cow slip to the unaffected claw to take weight off the diseased claw, paring the hoof to remove dead/underrun tissue and giving a NSAID (anti-inflammatory) to reduce pain and inflammation. Many lame issues in cattle don’t require antibiotics, but when they do we need to make sure we are selecting the appropriate one. Sound knowledge of the correct treatment is essential, as you can make things worse very quickly. Therefore, if you are unsure of what treatment is appropriate, contact your local Anexa Veterinarian for further assistance.

We can provide on farm training on basic hoof health for farm staff, and we have two healthy hoof accredited Veterinarians who can provide whole farm assessment to reduce lameness in you herd. Remember we are here to help.



Date Added: Monday, 3rd September 2018


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