Cows walking with uneven weight bearing on their claws will cause chronic changes to the structure of the third phalanx (pedal bone). Bone growths (osteophytes) appear on the solar surface and around the dorsal aspect at the base of the coffin joint. As the cow ages her chances of becoming lame, due to these bone growths, increase. Sometimes the osteophytes become so extensive the cow is permanently lame and cannot be trucked to slaughter.
The problem is uneven weight bearing. That can be caused by poor conformation, collapsed udders, painful udder, injury to a claw, or injury to a joint higher up the leg. It can also be cause by the wear and tear of walking miles on uneven surfaces.
Whatever the cause, the uneven weight bearing can be corrected by prompt treatment of lame cows and regular trimming of overgrowing claws. In one New Zealand case study the incidence of lame cows halved from 1 season to the next, after the introduction of regular hoof trimming*.
Contact Hoof Star today to discuss how this & other conditions can be avoided by implementing a structured hoof maintenance strategy.
*Case study was presented in the proceedings of the dairy cattle vets annual conference.