Examination and control of lameness in dairy herds

Examination and control of lameness in dairy herds
Peer reviewed

Abstract

Lameness is a significant problem in dairy herds in New Zealand. It affects production and causes cows to lose weight. If antibiotics are used, milk has to be withheld from the vat. Cows may go into extended anoestrus and some which fail to conceive have to be culled. Even in its mildest form lameness is an inconvenience to the normal management of the herd. Treating the individual lame cow is an important part of the case load of dairy cattle practitioners. Early treatment can be quite successful, but treating the individual animal is treating the result not the cause. As revealed by a case-control study in Taranaki, New Zealand, farm management factors can be very influential in determining the prevalence of lameness in dairy herds. Accordingly the practitioner faced with a lameness problem on a farm needs to examine farm management in the herd rather than…

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