Feet First® Swine Claw Lesion Identification

The Feet First® team has developed an easy-to-use lesion scoring system to help veterinarians, nutritionists and producers accurately identify and record claw lesions in their sow herds. This system helps visually rank the seven more common claw lesions, based on the type of lesion and its level of severity (1 = mild, 2 = moderate, 3 = severe). 

Feet First® Lesion Scoring System

For more information about the Feet First® Lesion Scoring system, request your free copy of the Feet First Lesion Identification Guide. It features close-up color photographs and detailed descriptions for all seven major types of lesions. This guide is a valuable resource to develop a deeper understanding of foot anatomy, while allowing lesions to be identified at earlier (less severe) stages.

Sow Lesion Identification and Scoring System

Following is a summary of the Feet First® sow lesion identification and scoring system. This includes names, descriptions and scores of the seven most common claw lesions in sows.  

Toes (T)

Mild

Toes (T)(Mild)
One or more toes slightly longer than normal

Moderate

Toes (T)(Moderate)
One or more toes significantly longer than normal

Severe

Toes (T)(Severe)
Long toes that affect gait when walking
Dew Claws (DC)

Mild

Dew Claws (DC)(Mild)
Slightly longer than normal

Moderate

Dew Claws (DC)(Moderate)
Claws extend to floor surface when the pig is standing

Severe

Dew Claws (DC)(Severe)
Claw is torn and/or partially or completely missing
Heel Overgrowth and Erosion (HOE)

Mild

Heel Overgrowth and Erosion (HOE)(Mild)
Slight overgrowth and/or erosion in soft heel tissue

Moderate

Heel Overgrowth and Erosion (HOE)(Moderate)
Numerous cracks with obvious overgrowth and erosion

Severe

Heel Overgrowth and Erosion (HOE)(Severe)
Large amount of erosion and overgrowth with cracks throughout
Heel-Sole Crack (HSC)

Mild

Heel-Sole Crack (HSC)(Mild)
Slight separation at the juncture

Moderate

Heel-Sole Crack (HSC)(Moderate)
Long separation at the juncture

Severe

Heel-Sole Crack (HSC)(Severe)
Long and deep separation at the juncture
White Line (WL)

Mild

White Line (WL)(Mild)
Shallow and/or short separation along white line

Moderate

White Line (WL)(Moderate)
Long separation along white line

Severe

White Line (WL)(Severe)
Long separation along white line
Cracked Wall Horizontal (CWH)

Mild

Cracked Wall Horizontal (CWH)(Mild)
Hemorrhage evident, short/shallow horizontal crack in toe wall

Moderate

Cracked Wall Horizontal (CWH)(Moderate)
Long but shallow horizontal crack in toe wall

Severe

Cracked Wall Horizontal (CWH)(Severe)
Multiple or deep horizontal crack(s) in toe wall
Cracked Wall Vertical (CWV)

Mild

Cracked Wall Vertical (CWV)(Mild)
Short/shallow vertical crack in wall

Moderate

Cracked Wall Vertical (CWV)(Moderate)
Long but shallow vertical crack in wall

Severe

Cracked Wall Vertical (CWV)(Severe)
Multiple or deep vertical crack(s) in wall

The Role of Trace Minerals

Availa®Sow, from Zinpro Performance Minerals®, contains a unique combination of zinc, manganese and copper specifically formulated to help optimize the foot health and reproductive performance of sows, gilts and boars. Each mineral has multiple roles, some specific and some synergistic. The goals are to grow strong, elastic claws that are better able to withstand injury, abrasion and cracking; and sound joints and bones to help support the fast growing body mass of sows, gilts and boars.