Recently, the level of diseases of the distal extremities in highly productive cattles, goats and horses has significantly increased in Russia. This is due to changes in animal husbandry technologies which are associated with the mechanization of many labor-intensive processes (feed distribution, manure removal, watering), as well as with a diet with a minimum content of roughage.
Reducing fatness, milk yield and early culling of animals with hoof diseases causes irreparable damage to agriculture. Lameness lowers milk production due to poor appetite in cows. At the same time, diseased animals are in a rather serious condition and practically cannot be treated, which is why they are often rejected from the herd or die.
The effect of lameness of cows on the milk productivity of cows, %
|Limb condition Indicator||Decreased appetite||Decreased productivity|
Cow hooves consist of two halves covered with a stratum corneum which is a living tissue with blood vessels and nerve endings. When infection occurs, the hoof is deformed, which in its turn prevents the correct distribution of the weight of the animal. As a result, suppuration occurs in the distal extremities.
The causes of such injuries are trellised floors, shrubs, rocky driving, untimely or improper cleaning, and inadequate sanitary conditions. Many of these factors lead to maceration of the skin (the appearance of a gate for bacteria) and the softening of the horn shoe. The pathogen penetrates the tissues and releases the strongest toxins due to enzymes, creating a favorable environment for its own reproduction.
Why it is dangerous
The infection progresses gradually, up to the formation of an open wound and necrobacteriosis - a chronic infectious disease characterized by purulent-necrotic lesions of the skin and tissues, mainly in the distal part of the hind limbs. In some cases, the disease manifests itself on the udder, genitals or in the oral cavity.
Necrobacteriosis is especially dangerous for cattle. Lameness worsens overall health, leading to consequences such as:
- Reduction in milk yield and animal weight by 50-100 kg;
- Decrease in gain and reproduction;
- Increased costs of treatment and feeding;
- Decrease in amount of highly productive livestock;
- Decrease in quality grade of milk;
- High probability for infection of healthy animals.
How to avoid the disease
In meat and dairy farms, the main causes of the disease must be avoided. Therefore, it is necessary to provide:
- Nutrition in a balanced diet;
- Regular and rational exercise;
- The optimal level of humidity and temperature;
- Increased immunity through competent vaccination;
- Regular trimming and cleaning of hooves.
Disease treatment and prevention
Timely identification of problems with hoof disease is the key to the most effective treatment and prevention of complications. Animals need regular inspection for lameness. For prevention, it is recommended to use a disinfectant bath with an antiseptic.
An effective tool for the treatment of purulent-necrotic diseases of the hooves of cows and horses of a bacterial nature is the Hof-Gel veterinary product which is a pasty mass of turquoise color based on zinc, copper, excipients and organic acids. It has an antimicrobial effect, accelerates wound healing and remains active after contact with the environment.
It should be highlighted that before using any product, the hooves should be cleaned of dirt and necrotic tissue should be removed. Comprehensive measures for the organization of therapeutic and preventive measures are the basis for the care of large cattle livestock, helping to maintain their productivity and safety.