First Step®: Dairy Lameness Assessment and Prevention Program

Lameness has been and continues to be a significant issue affecting the overall productivity and profitability of today’s commercial dairy operations. The First Step® Dairy Lameness Assessment and Prevention program, from Zinpro, provides the industry’s first-ever comprehensive assessment of overall lameness risk factors on a dairy to help manage and prevent dairy cattle lameness.

Locomotion Scoring Dairy Cattle

Locomotion scoring uses a simple 1 to 5 scale to assess the severity of dairy cattle lameness. It is based on the observation of cows standing and walking (gait), with special emphasis on their back posture. Locomotion scoring is intuitive and easy to learn and implement. Learn more about how to locomotion score dairy cows.

Dairy Claw Lesion Identification

In order to determine the best course of action to reduce lameness in dairy cattle, claw lesions must be accurately identified and recorded. The Dairy Claw Lesion Identification Poster, developed by Zinpro Corporation and the International Lameness Committee, represents the first global consensus for claw lesion identification, naming convention and record keeping practices. Learn more about how to properly identify the most common infectious and non-infectious claw lesions in dairy cattle in order to  help reduce lameness.

Hoof Trimming Fundamentals

The main reason why dairy cattle experience lameness is most often related to cows walking on hooves (claws) with a compromised or unbalanced weight-bearing surface. Hoof trimming helps to restore appropriate weight-bearing within and between the claws of each foot, while also helping identify claw lesions at an earlier (less severe) stage.  Learn more about the four-step functional hoof trimming technique.

The First Step® Team

The First Step® program was developed by Zinpro Corporation and the University of Wisconsin’s noted lameness expert Dr. Nigel Cook, with contributions from several other leading dairy industry experts. Learn more about the team who developed the First Step program.

This educational video series features one-on-one discussions with leading authorities on cattle foot health and lameness prevention. Topics discussed range from best practices in management, to prevention of common diseases, to effective nutritional strategies. Learn more about this new educational series.