Surviving Cattle From Wildfire at Risk of Laminitis

March 17, 2017 01:22 PM
Winter cattle

While thousands of cattle died in last week’s wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, those also hit hard by fire are the surviving beef cattle.

From mild surface burns to debilitating hoof injuries, ranchers and veterinarians are teaming up to render care and compassion.

There can be lingering, long-term consequences from injuries sustained in the fires. AJ Tarpoff, a beef veterinarian from Kansas State University, says the first concern for all the animals should be their feet.

“We saw some separation and cracking in what’s called the coronary band—where the hoof transitions to skin, where the hair initially starts and that’s where hoof development begins,” said Tarpoff. “We can run into really sever laminitis where we can have separation of that hoof wall due to the damage at the coronary band.”

Tarpoff says laminitis can include cracks in the hoof wall and separation of the hoof from the food. When he sees that kind of damage, immediate euthanasia is necessary. 

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