Owen Atkinson

  • Webinar recorded on Wed 26th February, 2014
  • 1 hours 9 mins
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Lameness is rated by dairy farmers as their third biggest herd health problem after Mastitis and Fertility – a bigger concern even than TB. Around a third of dairy cows in the UK are lame to some degree at any one time.

Yet vets can often struggle to have an impact on farms’ lameness problems. Nowadays, vets rarely deal with the individual lame cow or do much foot trimming, so can find it challenging to get a foothold in the very rewarding area of herd foot health.

Owen will explain the Four Success Factors for Healthy Hooves, and how you can use these as a framework for investigating and solving lameness problems.

  1. Have a low infection pressure: though infectious lameness is not entirely solved by foot bathing, a successful foot disinfection procedure is important on many farms. I’ll be demonstrating different footbath arrangements and discussing strategies.
  2. Have good horn quality and hoof shape: I’ll be discussing the role that nutrition has on foot health.
  3. Have low forces on feet: I’ll be discussing cubicle and housing design with regards hoof health, as well as stockman behaviour and “the rules of the milking parlour”.
  4. Ensure early detection and prompt, effective treatment: I’ll show best treatment techniques, as far as the evidence allows and some common errors to look out for. Regular mobility scoring is often the best way to detect early new cases and  I will discuss how some practices are incorporating a mobility scoring service into their portfolio.
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