Hoof health starts with the heifer

Tina Kohlman, Regional Extension Dairy Educator

Hoof health is essential for not only the overall health of the animal, but also for her welfare. Digital dermatitis (DD), or hairy heel warts, is an extremely painful condition for dairy cattle, reducing her ability to walk to and from the milking parlor, or to the feed bunk. Based on USDA NAHMS 2017 data, 16.8% of all cows and 2.6% of bred heifers have lameness on an operation. Just like her mature milking cow counterpart, heifers are not immune to DD. Digital dermatitis is the highest cause of lameness in bred heifers, with 70.9% of all heifer lameness contributed to DD, more so than in the lactating herd where it was reported DD infected 36.0% of lame cows.

Learn more from the article Hoof health starts with the heifer.  In this article, Extension Regional Dairy Educator Tina Kohlman shares the impact of digital dermatitis on heifers pre- and post-calving; how heifers contract this infectious disease, and how to detect, monitor, treat, and control the digital dermatitis on the farm.

Photo Credit: T. Kohlman

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