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FROM discussion with other practitioners it appears that non-healing hoof lesions, such as toe necrosis and wall ulcers (VR, August 27, 2011, vol 169, pp 236-237), are becoming increasingly common in the UK. Previous reports (Evans and others 2011) have shown that these are associated with treponemes causing digital dermatitis. One hypothesis I proposed for the failure of these lesions to heal was that, in addition to the disruption of the corium caused by the treponemes, there was also a marked proliferative osteitis of P3, and the subsequent spicules of bone protruding from the solear surface of the pedal bone lead to further damage to the corium (VR, November 12, 2011, vol 169, p 534).
To determine the extent of these pedal osteitis changes in non-healing lesions, I wished to establish the ‘normal’ shape and size of the pedal bone, using abattoir specimens from culled cows. From this study it became apparent that many cows with sole ulcers (ie, not normal claws) showed a …
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