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Lame cow costs creeping up? Five tips to minimize costs while fast tracking recovery

During mating, incidence of lameness increases on a lot of farms due to change in routine, more time spent in yards during tail painting and AI, more activity, and seasonal feed changes. According to DairyNZ, the average cost of a lame cow is $500, we want to help you reduce this as much as possible.


Lift and trim the affected foot

- If its white line disease, sole bruising, or even a toe abscess, a corrective trim is key for a fast recovery. The key is to open up any diseased areas/abscesses or underrun sole to expose the infection to the air and allow it to drain. Trim away any hard ridges to avoid pinching on sensitive tissues


Put a hoof block on the sound claw


- Many of our vets have made the change from the old 'cow slips' to BoviBond blocks.

- Bovibond blocks are 40% cheaper than cowslips and much

quicker and easier to apply


- Lifting the painful claw up off the ground will reduce pain when walking and allow the damaged hoof to heal faster


Cut down on antibiotic usage to keep milk in the vat

- Getting a diagnosis means we can reduce antibiotic usage to only cows with foot rot or infections above the hoof. Look for swelling, heat, pus or discharge from the skin above the hoof before reaching for penicillin.


- Most cases of white line disease, toe abscess and axial wall cracks don’t need antibiotics


Give a pain relief such as Ketomax for 3 days

- Ketomax has nil milk withhold and comes in a handy 250ml bottle with gun attachment, making it very convenient for repeated dosing

- Lame cows are in pain and don’t eat or move around as much as healthy cows. By minimising pain, cows will continue to eat and move to food, meaning they will maintain their liveweight and continue to produce milk to meet your production targets



Keep records of all lame cows

- Lameness can become a repeated or chronic issue in older cows or those with poor conformation. Keeping records of cows you treat will help make decisions around culling, best use of non-cycler programs and help save you money in the long run


If you’ve got increased lame cows compared to usual, or simply not enough time to trim and treat them, please let us know so we can help you. Whether it’s coming out to trim a few for you, or to have a chat about how we can decrease lameness overall - we are happy to help.




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