We demand so much of our dairy herd — the highest quality milk in copious quantities, excellent production persistence and (we hope) a heifer calf at every calving. The demands of modern dairy production mean cows spend much of their day standing, supporting their large frames and heavy udders. While dairy farmers take extra care to provide the most cushiony soft, supportive bedding they can, cows’ feet need extra care and attention to keep them sound and healthy.
In this video, Dr. Chris Clark, with the University of Saskatchewan, offers a thorough tutorial of three major types and causes of lameness in dairy cattle. Treatment is straightforward for some of these, but for all three — sole ulcers, abscesses and digital dermatitis — prevention is by far the preferred plan of attack.
If you cannot see the embedded video, click here.