Click here to view as a pdf: Hoof Defense A New Approach To Hoof Health
By Kaylee Viney
Digital dermatitis, more commonly referred to as hairy heel warts, is the most common infectious cause of lameness in dairy cattle1. The painful lesions are a result of compromised hoof or skin condition leading to an infection of the skin surface. The most common location of heel warts are on the back feet, between the claws where the hoof heels meet the skin, below the dew claws. Lameness caused by hairy heel warts often reduces feed intake, subsequently negatively impacting milk production. Affected cows increase their laying time in the stalls, and are less likely to compete at the bunk.