By causing poorer horn quality, subclinical laminitis is considered to be a major predisposing cause of other hoof problems, particularly sole ulcers in newly calved heifers. In this study the hind hooves of 136 female Friesian/Holstein cattle aged between four months and two years were examined to discover at what age the signs of subclinical laminitis appeared. Sole haemorrhages were found in the hoof horn of calves as young as five months. The consistent finding of these lesions in heifers of all ages indicated that subclinical laminitis of varying degree was a common condition during the early growing period of young dairy heifers.
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