Lameness is a growing concern to the dairy industry worldwide. However, little is known about lameness and its causes in grazing cattle, especially in tropical climates. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of hoof lesions and lameness in dairy herds of all year-round grazing cattle under tropical condition, and to identify the main lesions associated with lameness. We visited 48 farms located in the Minas Gerais state, Brazil, equally divided into four groups based on daily milk production. All lactating cows in the visited farms were locomotion scored, and a representative sample was randomly chosen for hoof inspection. Among the 2267 lactating cows evaluated, 16% were scored as lame and 7% as severely lame. Nearly all cows presented at least one type of hoof lesion, of which heel horn erosion (90%), white line fissure (50%), and digital dermatitis (33%) were the most prevalent. Heel horn erosion was present in all farms and digital dermatitis was present in 96% of the farms. Sole ulcer was observed in a single animal. Additionally, digital dermatitis and white line fissure were correlated to a 2.5 times increase in the odds of a poor mobility score. Collectively, our results demonstrate that digital dermatitis and white line fissure are the main concern and the biggest cause of lameness in grazing cattle under tropical conditions.
Tropical Animal Health and Production – Springer Journals
Published: May 30, 2018
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