Beef Cattle Claw Lesion Identification

Lameness in the feedyard can impact profitability. Correctly identifying the early signs of lameness and diagnosing the specific lameness issue is a common challenge for feedyards. The Beef Cattle Lameness Poster was developed by Zinpro Corporation, in cooperation with industry experts Dr. Dee Griffin (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) and Dr. Tom Edwards.

 

Identifying Lameness in Beef Cattle

 

  • Research shows that 90% of beef cattle lameness is caused by problems in the foot
  • Two of the most common problems, footrot and toe abscess, require different treatments
  • Watch animals in motion to pinpoint lameness location
  • Pick up foot, wash and examine to determine cause of lameness

Footrot Details

Footrot: an infection of skin between the toes

Diagnosis

  • Symmetrical swelling
  • Foul smell
  • Broken skin (ulcers) between toes

Treatment

  • Wash until clean
  • Topical antiseptic
  • Responds well to antibiotics approved for footrot

Prevention

  • Pen maintenance
  • Improve skin integrity of skin with proper nutrition

Toe Abscess Details

Toe Abscess: a toe abrasion resulting in subsequent infection in the claw            

Diagnosis

  • Walk to protect toe(s)
  • Extremely painful
  • Worn sole and tip of toe
  • No swelling; normal

Treatment

  • Tip toe to drain abscess and relieve pressure; DO NOT TRIM ENOUGH TO CAUSE BLEEDING.
  • Select long duration antibiotics
  • House in clean/dry environment
  • May require extended therapy

Prevention

  • Quiet/calm cattle handling
  • Provide non-abrasive footing in alleys and working areas