Farm - 05-07-2023 - Sarah Metcalfe BVetMed(Hons) MRCVS - 0 comments
Feet update and Heat Stress - Summer newsletter

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Block Application

Since running the BCVA Lantra Accredited foot trimming courses I have picked up a few tips for applying blocks which I thought I would share. 

Glue Application
Glue should be applied only to the front 3/4 of the block. This is to avoid creating pressure points at the heel and the sole ulcer site. 

Positioning the block
The block should be aligned with the tip of the toe or slightly (~1cm) back from the toe. You can use your finger on the heel to give a guide as to where it should sit. The inside of the block should be aligned with the inside wall of the claw. Ensure the block is at 90? to the leg bone or sloping slightly outwards. It should not be sloping inwards. 

Preparing the foot
A lot of you will already be doing this but applying some heat to the claw with a blow torch or similar makes a huge difference to retention. As well as the heat setting the glue, it burns off the natural oils from the sole helping the glue to adhere.If anyone would like to attend the BCVA CHCSB Lantra Accredited Foot Trimming course please contact the office- they are taught along with a professional foot trimmer and based on the most up to date advice. There are two options, a 1-day Foot First Aid course for beginners, and a 3 day Intermediate course for those who already have some experience. 

Use of NSAIDs in digital dermatitis
Another study, looking at use of NSAID's for digital dermatitis concluded that animals treated with 3 days of Ketofen as well as topical oxytetracycline (blue spray) were 2.57 times less likely to be lame at a subsequent mobility score. If only considering animals who were lame due to digital dermatitis at the start of the study, they were 20 times less likely to be lame following treatment with Ketofen. Animals treated with Ketofen also produced 2.98kg extra milk per day! 

Use of NSAIDs at calving reduces risk of subsequent lameness and culling
Many of you will have heard James Wilson speak at the cow convention last year regarding his work into the use of NSAID's at calving. A group of heifers at calving were given 3 days Ketoprofen (Ketofen), as well as 3 days alongside a block and trim if they had a lameness event. The results showed that the animals receiving the above treatment were 20% less likely to be culled, and 10% less likely to have a lameness event, in the subsequent 3 years. This effect is thought to be due to reduced inflammation in the transition period and when lameness events are seen leading to reduced pathological change to the foot. Based on the study results, the authors recommend NSAID treatment at first and subsequent calving's (starting 24 hours post-partum), and NSAID treatment at any lameness event. 

Continue reading the newsletter (with pictures to illustrate) through the link above.

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