A foot health program starts with data collection.

Find lame cows early“The basis of a foot health program is knowing what the problem is in the herd,” says Gerard Cramer, consulting veterinarian with Cramer Mobile Bovine Veterinary Services in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. “To do this we need data. The data comes from either trimmers that are on your farm recording lesions or from you recording lesions when you look at lame cows.”

This leads to the next step of finding lame cows.

“The biggest way a dairy can reduce the prevalence of lameness on the farm is by finding lame cows early and treating those lame cows aggressively,” Cramer said during a lameness webinar hosted by Dairy Herd Management.

How do you find lame cows early?

“We need to look at these cows,” Cramer says. “Somebody should be looking for lame cows on a routine basis. We can make a big difference if we dedicate a person weekly to finding lame cows, especially on our very large farms.”