Dairy Cattle - Lameness (PB4020)

Causes of Lameness

Lameness only describes a clinical symptom. It may be caused by a wide variety of foot and leg conditions. Environmental, infectious, nutritional and genetic factors are all significant in the production of specific lesions. The most common causes of lameness are:

  • solar ulcer
  • white line disease
  • Digital dermatitis
  • Foul-in-the-foot, including 'Super Foul'
  • Acute laminitis
  • Punctured sole
  • Heel horn erosion
  • Overgrown claws, especially the outer hind claws
  • Leg injuries

The following are aspects of husbandry and management of the dairy herd which need to be considered in relation to controlling the incidence of lameness.

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