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Lameness, Hoof, and Leg Issues in Dairy Cattle- Ernest Hovingh
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Lameness, Hoof, and Leg Issues in Dairy Cattle- Ernest Hovingh


Dr. Ernest Hovingh presented this information as part of DAIReXNET's webinar on Lameness, Hoof, and Leg Issues on January 12, 2012.

Dr. Ernest Hovingh presented this information as part of DAIReXNET's webinar on Lameness, Hoof, and Leg Issues on January 12, 2012.

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  • 1. Lameness: from the inside out… …and the outside in.Ernest Hovingh eph1@psu.eduDept. of Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences Pennsylvania State University
  • 2. Is lameness important? Death loss Treatment Milk loss $24 $23 $67 Days open $56asedlity Culling $167 Estimated cost per lame cow: $346 USD (C. Guard, Cornell) (Not included: “Frustration factor”)
  • 3. The animal welfare „cost‟
  • 4. Ethical/moral obligation• “Dairy farming includes a contract with the cattle - a barter of housing, feeding, safety and comfort in exchange for milk and meat.” . (N. Anderson, OMAFRA)• “Animal husbandry” has been replaced by “animal science” (B. Rollin, Colorado State Univ.)
  • 5. McDonald’s cares about the humane treatment of animals, and werecognize that being a responsible purchaser of food products meansworking with our suppliers to ensure industry-leading animalhusbandry practices.Our approach is based on our Animal Welfare Guiding Principles,which express our commitment to ensuring that animals are “freefrom cruelty, abuse and neglect.”…snip… from:
  • 6. Animal rights groups• Campaigns against animal agriculture, especially „factory farming‟• HSUS (Humane Society of the United States), and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) – Use obvious animal abuse cases as a „hook‟ to get people interested in their cause
  • 7. PA Dairy Farm – in the news Undercover Investigation Reveals Cows Suffer for Land O’Lakes
  • 8. Is lameness important?• YES!! – Expensive: reproduction, production, culling, market value, treatment costs… – Frustration / nuisance factor – Ethical / moral obligation – Retailer / Consumer concern
  • 9. Dealing with lameness…•The P-I-M approach –Prevent lame cows –Identify lame cows –Manage/treat lame cows
  • 10. Preventing lame cows…• Requires knowledge of the causes of lameness…
  • 11. Where does lameness occur?• Almost all lameness in cattle occurs in the feet. – Most often happens in the outside claw of the hind feet
  • 12. Why does lameness occur?• From the inside out… – „Internal factors‟ affecting hoof health• From the outside in… – „External factors‟ affecting hoof health
  • 13. Metabolic disorders Nutrition • Milk fever • Lack of effective fiber • Ketosis • Poor feeding management • Incorrect forage:concentrate ratio • Poor rumen buffering • Weight loss Death of “gram negative” bacteriaInfectious diseases Endotoxin release Infectious claw disease • Digital dermatitis • Metritis Changes in blood circulation in claw • Septic arthritis • Mastitis • Foot rot Laminitis Genetics • Weakened claw capsule • Conformation Environment & • Horn quality • Poor quality horn formation management • Breakdown of support system in the claw Other? • Trauma & handling • Trimming• Heat stress / cow comfort • Cleanliness LAMENESS
  • 14. From the inside out…• Internal factors affecting the quality/health of the hoof tissue: – Genetics – “Laminitis” – Loss of cushioning – Excessive pressure on corium
  • 15. Internal factor: Genetics• “Low foot angle, hocking in, and wide rumps were associated with clinical lameness.” (Boettcher et al, JDS 1998; also Boelling, 1999; van der Waaij, 2005; and others) Source: O.M. Obike, PhD thesis`Narrow Wide
  • 16. Internal factor: “Laminitis”• What is the lamina/corium?• What is laminitis/„coritis‟?• What does it matter?
  • 17. The anatomy of the bovine foot P3 P3
  • 18. P3 & the claw capsule P3 Claw capsule P3
  • 19. Corium• Tissue between P3 & claw capsule that „makes‟ the claw capsule The corium is also on the sole Photo courtesy C. Mülling, Berlin
  • 20. Different areas of the corium Coronary band & heel Hoof wall White line Sole Photo courtesy of C. Mülling
  • 21. Laminae insensitive sensitive lamina lamina (“laminar corium”)
  • 22. Laminae Photo courtesy C. Mülling
  • 23. What is laminitis?• Strictly, inflammation of the lamina – But, inflammation (irritation/injury) can occur in any part of the corium (“coritis”)
  • 24. What is laminitis?Inflammation/irritation/ Rumen acidosis, toxic mastitis, injury in corium mechanical injury, etc. Reduced/altered blood flow
  • 25. Altered blood flow in the feet• Rumen acidosis  death pH of bacteria in
  • 26. Nutrition & rumen acidosis* • Excessive carbohydrate/starch (Thoefner et al., 2004) • Sorting of ration, lack of effective fiber • Inability to buffer pH (esp. heat stress)* This syndrome is often referred to asSARA – Sub-Acute Ruminal Acidosis
  • 27. Nutrition – it‟s not all bad for feet!• Besides a balanced ration, supplements, additives, etc., may IMPROVE hoof quality/health…• …but ask for „proof‟ before spending money!
  • 28. Altered blood flow in the feet• Death of bacteria in rumen, udder or uterus• Dead bacteria release “vaso-active” substances• Absorbed into bloodstream  change blood flow in foot
  • 29. What is laminitis?Inflammation/irritation/ Rumen acidosis, toxic mastitis, injury in corium mechanical injury, etc. Reduced/altered Death of cells in corium blood flow may also occur… Reduced oxygen and nutrients to corium Corium stops producing claw tissue*, or produces poor quality claw tissue* * Claw tissue affected may be the sole, white line, hoof wall, heel, or coronary band
  • 30. Why does it matter?• Unhealthy/damaged corium = poor quality/ defective claw tissue (sole, heel, wall, etc.) = more susceptible to infection, mechanical damage, etc.
  • 31. Poor quality/defective lamina• Poor quality/compromised white line• Separation of sensitive/insensitive lamina – White line disease – P3 „sinks‟ in the claw capsule – “Pancake feet” Sensitive lamina Sole
  • 32. P3 Outer hoof wall This is a defective Lamina (corium) area in the white lineCorium White line
  • 33. White line disease This is a defective• White line widens & area in the white line separates – Bacteria can enter and cause infection of lamina – Infection can “break out” at the coronary band
  • 34. White line infection that hasopened up at the coronary band Travels up inside of hoof wall Infection entered ‘white line’ here
  • 35. „Sinking‟ of P3 due to laminitis Insensitive lamina Sensitive lamina Edge of P3 bone Weight Increased pressure Laminae do on corium of the solenot hold tightly together Hoof wall can move outwards Image courtesy of C. Lischer, Sweden (with modifications)
  • 36. “Pancake feet”• Significant separation of lamina/white line – Hoof wall is not held „tight‟ to the P3 bone – Permanent condition – Can be trimmed to be functional – but requires frequent trimming! Normal Pancake claw
  • 37. The sensitive lamina (exposeddue to hoof wall being broken)
  • 38. Poor quality/defective hoof wall• Hoof wall growth slows down or stops – hardship groove Hoof wall Sole
  • 39. Hardship groove Make your very own “hardship groove!”
  • 40. “Thimble toe”
  • 41. Poor quality heel/coronary band• Poor quality heel horn – Erosion Coronary band & heel Sole
  • 42. Heel horn erosion