The Cutting of Hoofs, ..... is this important?

Hoof trimming is a very important job for your herd. We recommend that you hire a professional farrier to perform preventive hoof care. To control of lameness, we advise you to inspect a lame cow as soon as you discover it. To do so, the basics are essential. We provide you the following guide for proper cutting into 5 basic steps developed by Professor E.Toussaint Raven in 1975.


THE FIVE STEPS FOR FUNCTIONAL HOOF TRIMMING

General trimming steps for REAR LEGS

1. Cut the inner claw, making it the correct length: 8 cm distance between the hairline (where the horn starts) and the tip of the toe; make this measurement on the top of the claw (1A). Trim the sole FLAT(1B). Leave a maximum heel depth(1 C)and a minimum of ½ cm (1D) at the tip of the toe.

 

 
2. Cut the outer claw, making it the same length and the same heel depth as the inner claw. Make sure this is also trimmed FLAT.

3.

3. Dish-out a slight hollow in the soles (the combined dish should be enough to balance a chicken egg, but should not produce a thin sole), more in the outer claw than the inner claw. This is to find any ulcers and to make sure that the manure cleans away through the space between claws. Stay away from the toes! 

4. Use this step only if there is a problem: lower the heel depth of diseased claw by trimming the sole and the wall lower than the healthy claw.This will cause the weight to shift to the healthier claw. Never dig holes in the sole. As a rule, leave? of the sole untouchedin this step (measured from the toe). A glue-on block is a great aid if the difference in heel depth between the healthy claw and the diseased claw is not sufficient for healing.

 

 

5. Take care of the various hoof diseases by removing all loose or detached horn in the heel area and providing an effective treatment for infectious hoof diseases.

 

To trim the FRONT FEET, start with the outer claw and repeat step 1 to 5.

 

 

 

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HOOF DISEASES

 

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The different parts of the bovine hoof.

 

 

Overview on hoof problems in cattle

In addition to the visible discomfort of a cow suffering from a disease of the hoof, there are many other consequences. Some of them are:

 

• The decrease in milk production;

• Weight loss;

• The decrease in fertility periods;

• The increased risk of mastitis since cows lie more frequently and for longer periods of time;

• The additional work;

• The increase in veterinary costs;

• The early slaughter.

 

In addition to these consequences, hoof diseases exert a great influence on the welfare of animals. Many studies have shown that the costs of lameness can easily exceed $ 450 per cow per year. Therefore, keeping a check on hoof problems is of great importance to all milk producers. Take action today!

Some common disorders of the hoof which will be described below are:

 

• Wart growths - Italian foot rot (Digital Dermatitis)

• The erosion of the heel - Cracks and crevices (interdigital dermatitis)

• interdigital infections - barn Rot - Cellulitis (necrotic pododermatitis)

• Laminitis (sole ulcer, white line lesion, double sole)


 

 


Hooves diseases description and management

 

Hairy Warts - Mortellaro Disease

(Digital Dermalitis)

Digital dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin around the hoof of a cow. It is most commonly found at the back of the foot, between the bulbs of the heels, but the disease can spread around the foot and into the cleft between the claws. Digital dermatitis is a very painful condition that results in lameness and subsequent reductions in food intake, milk yield, and fertility.
The first sign of digital dermatitis is the presence of matted hairs just above the bulbs of the heels. This is often referred to as a ‘paintbrush’ lesion. Ninety percent of cases occur in the hind feet.

CAUSES
 

Tea Treponema bacteria, often in combination with various environmental factors, are a possible cause of Hairy Warts..

PREVENTION

  • Maintain clean alleys to keep feet clean & dry. The use of alley scrapers is recommended.
  • Purchase ‘clean’ animals and know where they came from. Quarantine, examine, and treat new arrivals, especially heifers.
  • Avoid overcrowding of facilities.
  • Ensure dry bedding and proper ventilation to achieve a fresh barn climate.
  • Prevent zinc and magnesium deficiencies.
  • Be sure to have a foot bath and / or spray program in place.
 

MANAGEMENT  

  • After trimming, apply Hoof-Fit Gel to the affected hoof.
  • If necessary, repeat this procedure after 5 days.
  • Spray the whole herd with Hoof-Sol Liquid every 7 days as a preventive measure.
  • Have all cows regularly trimmed (2-3 times a year).
  • For further instructions on application, read our Hoof-Sol leaflet.

 

 



Heel Erosion - Stable Foot Rot

(interdigital Dermalitis)

Interdigital Dermatitis is like a wet eczema and has a characteristic smell. Infections in the interdigital skin (particularly the bulb area) cause extra blood circulation in the bulb area, which in turn triggers extra horn formation. The extra horn formation leads to V-shaped splits in the bulb area. This disorder is seen most frequently when the animals are housed inside and exposed to wet conditions.

CAUSES

A chronic bacterial infection caused by Bacteroides nodosus.

PREVENTION
  • Avoid overcrowding of facilities.
  • Ensure dry bedding and proper ventilation to achieve a fresh barn climate.
  • Maintain clean alleys to keep feet clean & dry. The use of alley scrapers is recommended.
  • Be sure to have a foot bath and / or spray program in place.
 
MANAGEMENT  
  • Have all cows regularly trimmed (2-3 times a year).
  • Trim hooves to remove excess horn and ridges, and then apply Hoof-Sol Gel on the area between the two claws.
  • With serious cases, repeat the procedure after 5 days.
  • Spray the whole herd with Hoof-Sol Liquid every 7 days as a preventive measure. For further instructions on application, read our Hoof-Sol leaflet. 

 

 


 

Foot Rot / Foul Foot

(Necrotic Pododermatitis)

The sudden onset of lameness is usually combined with a fever and production loss. The skin between the claw and above the foot is swollen, painful, and warm to the touch. The swelling is centered on the foot.

CAUSES

This condition is caused by the bacteria Fusobacteria necrophorum and Bacteriodes melaninogenicus, which are found in most housing facilities. The bacteria enter the skin via small wounds between the claws and subsequently cause inflammation.


PREVENTION

  • Maintain clean alleys to keep feet clean & dry. The use of alley scrapers is recommended.
  • Avoid small stones, uneven floors, and overcrowding of facilities.
  • Ensure dry bedding and proper ventilation to achieve a fresh barn climate.
  • Be sure to have a footbath and / or spray program in place.

MANAGEMENT 

  • Consult a veterinarian for treatment of severe cases. Because this infection occurs deep within the foot, a prescription drug might be needed.
  • Have all cows trimmed 2 to 3 times a year.
  • Apply Hoof-Sol Gel to the affected hoof and bandage severely affected claws for 1 day only. If necessary repeat this procedure after 5 days.
  • Spray the whole herd with Hoof-Sol Liquid every 7 days as a preventive measure.
  • For further instruction on application, read our Hoof-Sol leaflet.

 


Laminitis

(ulcers, double soles etc.)

The animal stands and walks uncomfortably and will often lie down. The claws are often warm. Arched back and slow movement are also common. In later stages, the claws grow flatter and show ‘growth rings’ on the hoof wall, which indicates a history of laminitis.

CAUSES

Laminitis is caused by bacterial toxins released into the laminae during dietary disturbances, ill health, or other types of stress. Imbalanced rations, milk fever, mastitis, metritis, or environmental stress cause edema and reduced blood flow in the claw and poor horn production. Sole ulcers, white line lesions, and double soles are often a result of laminitis and / or heel erosion, which put excessive pressure mostly on the rear outer claws.

  • The lesions in the claws arise due to poor horn quality and imbalanced claws.
  • Laminae are very rich in nerves, very sensitive, and are part of the horn production.
  • Environmental stress may include excessive walking, long waiting times, as well as poor walking surfaces.

 

PREVENTION

 

Ensure that the rations are well balanced, that forages are of premium quality, and that excessive quantities of concentrates are avoided. Special caution should be taken around calving and peak lactation. Dry cows and heifers should also receive proper care, as you’ll need them in the future!

In cases of laminitis, it is important to restore the claw to its normal form and balance between the two digits by trimming all four feet.

Combat the possible factor (s) that contribute to laminitis problems:

  • Practice preventive balancing of the claws (2-3 trimming sessions per year)
  • Consult your veterinarian at regular times for proper health management and treatment.
  • Contact your nutritionist to ensure proper balancing of the rations.
  • Reduce excessive waiting and standing for all animals.
  • Allow time for exercise off of concrete flooring to stimulate blood flow in the laminae.
  • Ensure enough stalls for proper rest and avoid overcrowding.
  • Avoid excessive weight to reduce calving problems and to avoid putting extra weight on the claws.
  • Make sure that water quality and supply is good and that there is no stray voltage.

 

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