July 10, 2019

Don’t Let Thin Soles or Over Trimming Impact Your Dairy Farm

Similar to the sole on a shoe that protects a human foot, the sole on a cow’s claw protects it from outside harm, and having thin soles is similar to having thin or worn shoe soles. Since cows are on their feet for extended periods, excessive sole wear and over trimming can lead to significant complications in everyday activities.

Because the sole supports the cow’s claw, awareness of the sole’s thickness is vital to maintaining optimal hoof health. Thin soles make the claws more vulnerable to injury or abscess and lameness.

To improve the claw horn quality and avoid lameness, take action and provide the right amount of support and protection.

Rubber Blocks for Extra Comfort and Support

As sole or horn grows at a rate of one-eighth of an inch per month, blocking is a helpful treatment option to use when claws are over-trimmed or over-worn. Hoof care professionals adhere a block on a healthy claw to elevate and restrict the affected claw so that it heals. Blocking helps make cows more comfortable and allows them to recover quickly with minimal impact on milk production.

Rubber blocks provide the necessary traction and cushion hooves need for a dairy cow to improve claw horn quality and stay comfortable. The Vettec Thin Block is ideal for minor lameness cases caused by thin soles, where an affected claw does not need the elevation provided by a standard block. Cows experience normal locomotion as the horn re-grows.

Depending on the cow’s sole thickness, there are different adhesives that hoof care professionals can use to attach the blocks onto the claws and increase a cow’s comfort level. Bovi-Bond™ from Vettec is a proprietary two-part polyurethane adhesive that bonds both wood and rubber blocks. It has a fast, 30-second set time and a strong bond to keep blocks in place.

With the right tools, dairy farmers can help ensure the comfort of their animals and maintain the productivity of the herd.