Treating Hoof Disease
There are a variety of strategies that can be employed by the producer to prevent hoof disease. Foot baths, foot sprays, nutrition, stall management, and cow comfort all play a part. But problems can occur even in the best of conditions. Laminitis related disease and hairy warts are the leading cause of cattle lameness in dairy herds.
When an abcess or an ulcer develops, it is important to relieve the load on the diseased claw. Often this can be done by leaving the healthy claw deeper thereby transferring the weight to the healthy claw. However, there are times when the only resort is to glue a block to the healthy claw until healing has occurred.
The red boot blocks are used most commonly. They provide support without too much pressure on the sole because the glue is applied to the top of the boot. We use a wood block when the sole is not compromised in any way and the length of time needed for support is judged to be shorter. We use the white boot blocks only on large cattle or when we need more length behind the heel to keep the hoof angle straight.
Warts and infected corns can be treated by removing and wrapping them with an appropriate antibiotic. However, given their contagious nature, reoccurrence throughout the herd is a real possibility unless consistent measures are taken to combat their spread to other animals.