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On-farm treatment of sole ulcer and white line disease in dairy cows in the UK

S. V. Horseman, H. R. Whay, J. N. Huxley, N. J. Bell, C. S. Mason

LAMENESS impacts on the welfare, health and productivity of dairy cows. There are several known causes of lameness in cattle, including digital dermatitis, sole ulcers and white line disease (WLD). This study aimed to investigate how dairy farmers in the UK treated mild sole ulcers/sole bruising and WLD on-farm.

A total of 102 dairy farmers from England, Scotland and Wales were contacted to take part in a telephone survey. Eighty-four (82 per cent) of these completed the survey.

Ninety-three per cent of respondents reported that sole ulcers and/or sole bruising occurred on their farm, while 83 per cent indicated that WLD was a problem. On the majority of farms (69 per cent), lame cows were treated by someone who worked on the farm, for example, the farm owner or herdsman, rather than a veterinary practitioner or professional foot trimmer. Only 5 per cent of farmers used a vet or a foot trimmer to treat all of their lame cows. The most commonly reported treatment was trimming the affected claw either with or without the addition of an …

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