Document Detail

An outbreak of toe ulcers, sole ulcers and white line disease in a group of dairy heifers immediately after calving.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22175435     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
CASE HISTORY: An outbreak of severe lameness was reported on a 780-cow spring-calving dairy herd in the Manawatu region within 1-3 weeks of calving, which affected over 90% of a group of 150 dairy heifers. Approximately 3 weeks before the planned start of calving heifers had been fed maize and grass silage on a concrete feed pad for 3-4 h per day, and mixed with a group of adult cows.
CLINICAL FINDINGS: During treatment for lameness, the feet of 28 lame heifers were closely examined. Seventy lesions were recorded in the claws of these heifers. The predominant lesion was severe solar and white line haemorrhage, with much of the haemorrhage focussed at the site at which sole ulcers are normally seen. White line disease was seen in nine claws and sole ulcers in four. Additionally, a lesion which is not commonly recorded in New Zealand, a toe abscess arising from separation of the white line from the sole in the abaxial region of tip of the toe was recorded in 11 claws. The clinical impression was that the soles of the affected heifers were very thin. This was supported by examination of the feet of eight heifers using ultrasonography that indicated heifers with hoof horn haemorrhages had very thin soles (estimated mean 4.1 mm) and that these soles were thinner than those in non-lame heifers without haemorrhages.
DIAGNOSIS: The pattern of disease seen in these heifers closely matched that seen in an outbreak of lameness in heifers in Florida, which was linked to thin soles resulting from excess hoof horn wear. The clinical signs and findings of the examination using ultrasonography strongly implicated thin soles as the underlying cause of lameness on this farm. An on-farm investigation revealed a combination of heifer behaviour and prolonged exposure to wet concrete on the feed pad were the primary causes of excess wear that resulted in thin soles.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: This was an unusual outbreak of lameness in a group of newly calved heifers. The problem highlights the value of good management during the transition of heifers at pasture to the lactating herd standing on concrete for long periods, in the control of lameness.
W A Mason; L J Laven; R A Laven
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  New Zealand veterinary journal     Volume:  60     ISSN:  0048-0169     ISO Abbreviation:  N Z Vet J     Publication Date:  2012 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-12-19     Completed Date:  2012-03-01     Revised Date:  2012-03-23    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0021406     Medline TA:  N Z Vet J     Country:  New Zealand    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  76-81     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag 11222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Husbandry
Disease Outbreaks / veterinary*
Foot / anatomy & histology,  pathology
Foot Diseases / etiology,  pathology,  veterinary*
Lameness, Animal
Parturition / physiology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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