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Diamond Hoof Care

Hoof Disease Overview

Hoof diseases in cattle can cause significant discomfort, lameness, and reduced productivity for affected animals. As a professional dairy hoof trimmer, I would like to share the basics of common hoof diseases, their causes, and how to prevent and treat them effectively.

There are two main categories of bovine hoof diseases: Infectious and non-infectious diseases. Below you’ll find the overviews of the different hoof ailments in your herd.

Digital Dermatitis or Warts

This is an inflammation of the skin around the cow’s hoof causing a very painful condition that results in lameness and subsequent reductions in food intake, milk yield, and fertility.

Interdigital Dermatitis or Heel Erosion

This is like a wet eczema and has a characteristic bad odour. It is seen most frequently when the animals are housed inside and exposed to wet

Foot rot

This sudden onset of lameness is usually accompanied by a fever and production loss. The skin between the claw and above the foot is swollen, painful and warm to the touch.

Horn Diseases – Laminitis, Sole Ulcers

Horn diseases are painful, with pain levels ranging between moderate and severe. Environmental stress and metabolic problems result in poor horn production.

Corn or Tyloma

Interdigital growth can cause irritation and inflammation. Hard horn edges combined with excessive manure and moisture seems to worsen the occurrence of corns in a herd

Are you looking for tools and solutions?

What are general ways to keep cow’s hooves healthy?

In my article Lameness Control Strategies: Prevention vs Treatment, I explain how to treat and prevent dairy hoof diseases. 

Two things to keep in mind while learning about hoof health and hoof diseases in a cow:

    1. If you doubt your diagnosis, please reach out to your local veterinarian or professional hoof trimmer for advice on lameness cases.
    2. Be on the alert for the quick ‘golden bullet’ products that are offered to you. Some products are spam and not registered for use by local authorities. Make sure that residues will not end up in meat or milk. Use a careful and professional approach to hoof care products.

In my article 4 Things to Look For on Foot Bath Product Labels you will learn more about the ins and outs of hoof care products.

Cows limping, and you are stuck on how to fix it?

Are your cows limping, and you are stuck on how to fix it? You’re at the right place! Our Hoof Care Essentials bundle will help you treat and prevent lameness.