World Buiatrics Congress 2016 (WBC 2016) Contact WBC 2016
The World’s Premier Cattle Health Congress
July 3rd - 8th 2016 Dublin, Ireland

Lameness, by Peter Mullowney

Lameness WBC 2016 Blog Post
Cow with symptoms of lameness

Lameness can cost €6,000 annually in a 100 cow dairy herd

Current estimates of lameness in dairy herds in North America suggest that at any one time, 20 to 25% of cows are clinically lame. We know that farmers do not recognize as many lame cows in their own herds as trained independent observers, while veterinarians see very few of the cows that are actually lame.

Research on lameness in Ireland has been carried out recently by University College Dublin and at Teagasc Institutes at Grange and Moorepark. Research has been carried out in Northern Ireland by Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Hillsborough, N.I. and Queen’s University Belfast.


Teagasc Moorepark, Fermoy.

Teagasc Moorepark, Fermoy.

We are delighted that Professor Nigel Cook has agreed to be the keynote speaker for lameness. Professor Cook is Head of Food Animal Production Medicine at the University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine. His areas of expertise are Dairy cattle lameness, Dairy facility design and Mastitis and milk quality and he is Chair of the Bovine Lameness Committee, American Association of Bovine Practitioners. He graduated from University of Bristol in 1992, obtained the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Certificate in Cattle Health & Production in 1995, Diploma in Bovine Reproduction (with Distinction), University of Liverpool in 1998 and became a Diplomate of European College of Bovine Health in 2007.

Professor Nigel Cook

Professor Nigel Cook

He has spent over a decade examining the impact of the environment on the well-being of dairy cattle. Current research interests include evaluating the performance of the Wisconsin dairy industry using cluster analysis and examination of causal networks. In collaboration with Dr. Dorte Dopfer, he is also identifying optimal control methods for digital dermatitis infection.

He was President of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners for 2012/2013. His clinical Interests include The Dairyland Initiative: The guide to welfare friendly dairy cattle housing, a unique outreach program aimed at ensuring Wisconsin dairy producers build and remodel dairy cattle facilities with the most up to date information to safeguard well-being while optimizing productivity. He provides facility planning and a clinical troubleshooting service to dairy farmers and remains committed to reducing the incidence of production related diseases in dairy cows.

His recent publications include:
           • The influence of the environment on dairy cow behavior, claw health and herd lameness dynamics.
           • The effect of lameness on the resting behavior and metabolic status of dairy cattle during the transition period in a freestall housed dairy herd.
           • An experimental infection model to induce digital dermatitis infection in cattle.
           • Observations on the design and use of footbaths for the control of infectious hoof disease in dairy cattle.
           • Effect of Free Stall Surface on Daily Activity Patterns in Dairy Cows with Relevance to Lameness Prevalence
           • Monitoring Indices of Cow Comfort in Free-Stall-Housed Dairy Herds
           • The effect of digital dermatitis on hoof conformation
           • Comfort Zone-Design Free Stalls: Do They Influence the Stall Use Behavior of Lame Cows?
           • The Effect of Heat Stress and Lameness on Time Budgets of Lactating Dairy Cows
           • First-lactation performance in cows affected by digital dermatitis during the rearing period
           • Environmental Influences on Claw Horn Lesions Associated with Laminitis and Subacute Ruminal Acidosis in Dairy Cows
           • Immune response against Treponema spp. and ELISA detection of digital dermatitis
           • Sire predicted transmitting ability for conformation and yield traits and previous lactation incidence of foot lesions as risk factors for the incidence of foot lesions in Holstein cows
           • A randomized trial to evaluate the effect of a trace mineral premix on the incidence of active digital dermatitis lesions in cattle

Several other keynote speakers have carried out research in to lameness. Areas that will be covered in this session are Systems for Identifying Lame Cows, Incidence or Prevalence Monitors, Claw Horn Lesions or Infectious Lesions, Trigger Factors, The First Case of Lameness, Assessment of Hoof-Trimming, Leg Hygiene and Foot-Bathing Program, Walking Surfaces, Nutrition and lameness, Cow Comfort, Heat Stress and Group Size.

Among other areas that we hope to have presentations on are digit amputation, digital dermatitis, diseases of the tendons and tendon sheaths, effect of lameness on milk yield, grain induced rumen acidosis, grazing management, hock injuries, impact of lameness in dairy cows on visits to an Automatic Milking System, infrared thermography, interdigital hyperplasia, investigating the value dairy farmers place on a reduction of lameness in their herds using a willingness to pay approach, toe necrosis, lameness in dairy goats, laminitis, locomotion scoring, modeled sampling strategies, Mycoplasma bovis, ovine lameness, Papillomatous Digital Dermatitis, radiographic examination, septic arthritis, spastic paresis, splints and casts, surgical treatment of lameness, the influence of genetics on lameness, thin soles, treatment of fractures, ultrasonography, use of analgesics and virulent footrot in sheep.

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