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HERD HEALTH

Find information about mastitis, transition cows, vaccination protocols, working with your veterinarian, hoof care and hoof trimming.

LATEST

The effects of heat stress on dry cows are profound and have an impact on the herd year-round, despite what the outside thermometer might read. The production and physiological effects on cows and the effects on the calf from heat stress during the dry period are significant contributors to lower overall milk potential, productivity and profitability.

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Foot lesions in Alberta dairy cattle

Over the last several years, our team at University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has increased its research focus on lameness in both dairy and beef cattle.

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Claw lesions, such as those due to digital dermatitis (DD, hairy heel warts, Figure 1), are a serious problem in dairy cattle herds worldwide and often cause lameness.

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When helping a dairyman sort cows to be trimmed, I often point out cows in the herd that have a limp or long toes. All too often, I hear the dairyman saying, “We won’t trim her because she’s a cull cow.”

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One of the major changes in my business over the years is the type of records I keep on trim day and how I record this data, but even more important is how and with whom I share these records. When dairy producers put this information to work, they can make great strides to reduce lameness.

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Similar to how humans use crutches to limit the use of an injured foot in order to heal, cows rely on a similar approach called blocking to allow abscesses, claw injuries or other conditions to heal.

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