Mastitis and lameness are two common problems for dairy cows – and their owners! Both cost producers time, production and money. However, both diseases can be viewed as similar in ways of prevention.
Early detection is the first step in preventing both mastitis and lameness. Prevention of lameness can be as simple as having a herdsman walking through the barns to check for lame cows, or giving hooves a once-over when cows are in the milking parlor.
Approach lameness detection with the same dedication you would in preventing mastitis. Keep hooves dry, clean and cool to minimize the growth of bacteria that can cause diseases such as digital dermatitis (hairy heel wart). Wet, dirty and hot conditions are perfect opportunities for promoting bacterial growth.
Footbaths are another preventative tool. The more a cow’s hooves are exposed to footbath solutions, the more effective prevention will be. Just like teat dips on udders, footbath chemicals or solutions on hooves can help prevent costly problems down the road.
Footbath concentrates like HealMax and HoofMax from AgroChem are designed to obtain results and promote hoof health for reduced risk of disease and lameness. HealMax remains effective in higher temperatures and won’t flash-off like formaldehyde. HoofMax optimizes footbaths based on copper or zinc sulfate to achieve good control with less heavy metals and expense.
Talk to your veterinarian or hoof trimmer today about a hoof care protocol on your dairy.
(Adapted from a recent article in Hoard’s Dairyman Intel)