Lameness ID 101 New poster standardizes claw lesions

January 14, 2009 06:00 PM

If you can't correctly identify dairy claw lesions, you can't really measure prevalence in your herd. And if you can't measure prevalence, you can't manage it.

That's why the International Lameness Committee and Zinpro have developed a new dairy claw lesion identification poster in English and Spanish for use on your dairy.

"In the past, it was typical for several types of claw lesions—white line, sole ulcer or sole hemorrhage—to generically be identified as laminitis,” says Dana Tomlinson, a research nutritionist for Zinpro.

"In order to accurately identify the cause of the lesion and determine the proper corrective action plan, it is critical to be more specific and consistent,” he says.

The poster features 14 common claw lesions in dairy cattle: 10 are non-infectious, four are infectious. It also includes a photo of each lesion and common signs.

"Each particular type of lesion has a limited number of causes,” Tomlinson says. "Accurate lesion identification helps increase the understanding behind the lesion's true cause so an effective correction plan can be implemented.

"For example, using a footbath program to treat and prevent non-infectious lesions will not remedy the problem,” he says.

In addition, the poster lists single-letter abbreviations for each lesion type that have been globally accepted and recognized. Single-letter abbreviations function better with computerized record-keeping systems such as DHIA or Dairy Comp 305.

Once entered into the record-keeping system, prevalence data from the herd can be easily analyzed.

For your copy of the Dairy Claw Lesion Identification chart, e-mail your request to or call 800-445-6145.

Bonus content:

Click here to read in Spanish.

Click here for a manual on treatment and control of lameness in cattle.

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