What claws can tell


In today’s post we show some pictures that can tell us a story. Look at them and think about what you can see in this hooves at first sight. In order to give you some more information, let me tell you that this is a dry cow, preparing herself for second calving and lactation. The 8 claws have the same appearance.

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All soles had any remarkable lesion (as an example, hind right foot in left picture). If you check picture in the center and picture right below, you can see a transversal darker and deeper (if you could touch the dorsal wall) line on dorsal wall. This is a modified growth line, which is telling us that, in that moment in cow’s life something (acute disease or very stressful situation) occured and produced an abnormal horn growth in the hooves.

But…how can we know when and what happened? Well, if we measure the dorsal wall length to check if it’s correct (3 inches or 75 mm from the coronary band, placing four fingers over the dorsal wall), we find out that this line is a little bit above of the proper dorsal wall length.

As we know. the claw grows about 5mm per month, this means, 75mm are 15 months of horn growth. Thus, we can estimate this cow was really sick or had a stressfull situation about a year ago (beginning first lactation). We checked her history in the herd management software and she has had severe metritis after first calving; that’s the confirmation of our hypothesis.

Isn’t it interesting what claws can tell?

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