Manual for Treatment and Control of Lameness in Cattle


Of the 57 cases diagnosed with an abscess, the lesion was localized to the sole in In addition to the 2 cases of white line abscessation, white line disease was observed in 17 cases of foot lameness. In only 2 cases was white line disease the sole diagnosis; it was more commonly associated with a diagnosis of screw claw, abscessation, and vertical fissure of the hoof. Etiologies and distribution of lesions in cases of foot lameness in beef cattle presented to a university teaching hospital over a 7-year period.

Sums of the individual categories exceed the totals as multiple lesions were present in some animals; percentage values reflect the proportion of cases affected by a given etiology. Lesion location was not available for all cases; percentage values reflect the proportion of cases for which lesion location was known. The most common infectious cause of lameness localized to the foot in this study was papillomatous digital dermatitis PDD , diagnosed in 6.

Heel erosion was seen in Cases of heel erosion were seen most often in conjunction with other lesions, most commonly sole ulceration, false sole, and PDD. Sepsis of deep structures of the hind foot accounted for Foot rot was also diagnosed with greater frequency Fractures and traumatic injury were the greatest reason for lameness outside the foot. A simple diagnosis of trauma was also made for 6 cases of foot lameness. In 8 of the 26 cases in which a fracture was diagnosed the site of the fracture was not identified; 7 cases involved the long bones of the leg, most commonly the radius.

For the 15 cases of fracture for which signalment information was available, the median age at presentation was 2 y. Osteochondrosis was the primary non-traumatic cause for lameness not involving the foot. To our knowledge, this study is the first to characterize the different types and locations of lameness in beef cattle outside of feedlot studies.

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There are numerous reports that describe lameness lesions in dairy cattle; however, lameness in beef cattle, particularly outside of the feedlot, is poorly characterized. In this study, most cases were seen on a primary care basis and thus are typical of what may be seen by clinic owners and ambulatory practitioners. A previous research abstract from Auburn University indicated that the most common lesions resulting in lameness in beef and dairy cattle presenting to the Large Animal Clinic from to were, in decreasing order: However, neither the relative number of cases nor the lesion distribution was described in the preliminary report although the lesions listed all occur in the foot.

A more recent study assessed the prevalence of claw and limb disorders in Norwegian beef-cow herds 1. Although the overall prevalence of lameness in that study was low 1. In this study, lesions of the foot were the cause of lameness in Noninfectious causes of lameness predominated in this study, accounting for Noninfectious disease was the cause of lameness in Screw claw, vertical fissures of the hoof, and interdigital fibromas were the most common noninfectious etiologies of foot lameness, followed by sole ulcers and abscesses, false sole, white line disease, and laminitis.

A report of lameness cases at Auburn University between August 1, and July 31, reported that hoof overgrowth and subsolar abscesses were the most common causes of lameness; screw claw, sole ulceration, interdigital fibroma, and interdigital phlegmon were reported less commonly The reason for the differences in relative lesion prevalence is not clear.

In contrast to the current study, the previous report included cases of lameness in both beef and dairy cattle, which may have been responsible for at least part of the differences seen.

Alternatively, the changes in relative prevalence may reflect an increasing incidence or awareness of screw claw and interdigital fibromas. The predominance of screw claw, vertical fissures of the hoof, and interdigital fibromas in this study also contrasts with published reports in dairy cattle where white line disease and sole disease are the most common causes of lameness 12 — Sole injury and white line disease are often associated with subclinical laminitis, which is considered the most important claw disease of dairy cattle 15 , Nutrition is one of the primary underlying causes of laminitis, particularly the consumption of high-concentrate diets, which are more common in lactating dairy herds than in beef cattle.

In this study, laminitis was diagnosed in only 19 cases. Laminitis in cattle may be of the acute, subacute, or chronic form; as the records evaluated in this study were completed by various clinicians over the course of the study, the criteria for a diagnosis of laminitis was not clear. However, it is clear that subclinical laminitis is a significant cause of claw lesions in beef cattle as well as dairy cattle. Subclinical laminitis often results in white line disease and other changes to the hoof horn and may or may not result in lameness. In a study of beef herds in Europe, lesions associated with laminitis were the most common reason for abnormal hoof growth, although the lesions found in that study were generally mild and rarely resulted in clinical lameness 1.

The reason that so few cattle were diagnosed with laminitis in this study may be due to the fact that the subacute form of the disease predominates in cattle and results in other definitive changes to the hoof. It is highly likely that many of the diagnoses of false sole, white line disease, and sole ulceration occurred in cattle subsequent to previous episodes of subclinical laminitis.

Relatively few cases of infectious disease compared to noninfectious disease were diagnosed in this study; PDD was the most common infectious cause of lameness identified.

Commonly treated without veterinary intervention, the low prevalence of PDD in this study is likely a reflection of the study population, namely hospital cases. Historically, PDD has been diagnosed primarily in dairy cattle. However, the prevalence in beef cattle is believed to be on the increase In the abattoir study, detection of a PDD lesion was significantly associated with gender in beef cattle, with lesions found in bulls more commonly than cows In this study, 31 cases of digital dermatitis were identified in beef cattle, 5 in bulls, 15 in cows, and 11 in cases for which the gender of the patient was not available.

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Foot rot, which is considered the most prevalent and costly cause of foot disease in cow-calf herds 6 , 19 , was not commonly diagnosed. The relative prevalence of foot rot is likely underestimated in this study as over-the-counter antibiotics labeled for the treatment of foot rot are commercially available and widely used by producers.

Consequently, many cases of foot rot are treated on the farm and not examined by a veterinarian unless resolution of the lameness is not seen after initial treatment. Weight distribution between the medial and lateral claws of the hind feet is unequal, with the lateral claw bearing more weight.

While this imbalance may be improved with proper foot trimming, most of the weight is still borne by the outer claw. Weight distribution between claws of the front feet tends to be more even, although the medial claw bears more weight, in general, than the lateral claw This uneven weight distribution is reflected in this study in the relative prevalence of claw lesions resulting in hind-limb lameness. Most of the lesions Over half of the hind-limb lameness cases with lesions in the medial claw also had lesions in the lateral claw.

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For no disease process was the number of medial claws affected greater than the number of lateral claws. Interestingly, in cases of forelimb lameness, the described lesion was also most often located in the lateral claw. In 96 cases of forelimb foot lameness for which information was available, Redistribution and balancing of weight-bearing, particularly of the hind limbs, is the basis of functional claw trimming While this study does not allow for speculation as to the effect of routine trimming on the incidence of lameness, the distribution of lesions suggests that many cases of lameness may result from improper weight-bearing balance and would thus benefit from functional claw trimming.

However, the economic benefit of the procedure in beef cattle has not been clearly defined and will likely vary among different management systems. Therefore, careful study is needed before such a system is implemented. In summary, this report describes the relative prevalence and distribution of lesions causing lameness in beef cattle presenting to a university teaching hospital over a 7-year period. The stifle, tarsus, pastern, and shoulder were the most common sites of lameness-causing lesions proximal to the foot.

Lameness was more likely to be the result of a noninfectious etiology than an infectious etiology. The most common diagnoses were screw claw, vertical fissure, interdigital fibroma, and sole ulceration and abscessation. Laminitis-associated lesions were seen less commonly in this population than has been previously reported in dairy cattle.

Digital dermatitis was the most common infectious etiology diagnosed and may represent an increasing cause of concern for beef producers. Lameness in beef cattle is an important concern from both humane and economic standpoints and the data presented in this report will help the practitioner in the assessment and diagnosis of lameness in beef cattle. Use of this article is limited to a single copy for personal study. Anyone interested in obtaining reprints should contact the CVMA office gro. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.

Journal List Can Vet J v. Newcomer and Manuel F. Address all correspondence to Dr. Abstract The objective of this retrospective study was to characterize the relative prevalence of diagnoses and location of lameness lesions in beef cattle.

Traduit par Thibaud Kuca. Introduction The estimated prevalence of lameness in cattle ranges from 1. Materials and methods The records of all bovine cases presenting to the Auburn University Large Animal Teaching Hospital AULATH from August 1, to July 31, were examined for beef cattle associated with a complaint of lameness, or a request for a foot trim at the time of admission, or had a final diagnosis of lameness. Results A total of cases adult females, adult males, 46 yearlings, 8 calves, 98 of unrecorded signalment fit the inclusion criteria.

Table 1 Sites and relative distribution of lesions causing lameness in cattle presented to a university teaching hospital over a 7-year period for which a site of lameness was identified. Open in a separate window. Table 2 Etiologies and distribution of lesions in cases of foot lameness in beef cattle presented to a university teaching hospital over a 7-year period. Discussion To our knowledge, this study is the first to characterize the different types and locations of lameness in beef cattle outside of feedlot studies.

Footnotes Use of this article is limited to a single copy for personal study.

Bovine lameness and digital dermatitis in dairy cows: updates on control and diagnostics approaches

Claw and limb disorders in 12 Norwegian beef-cow herds. Benchmarking cow comfort on North American freestall dairies: For persons coming from countries affected with Foot-and-Mouth Disease, please read the following document:. Please indicate that you are making reservations for the Master Hoof Care Program. If you have any problem making payment arrangements please call Leslie Shearer at for assistance. Please note that if you will be needing airline tickets, they are usually available at a better rate if purchased greater than 2 or 3 weeks in advance!

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Manual for Treatment and Control of Lameness in Cattle

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