By Dale Baker and Chip Hendrickson
AgroChem Hoof Care Technical Experts

(Adapted from a recent article in Hoard’s Dairyman Intel)

dairy cow hoof healthMastitis and lameness are two common problems for dairy cows – and their owners! Both cost producers time, production and money. However, both diseases can be viewed as similar in ways of prevention.

Early detection is the first step in preventing both mastitis and lameness. Prevention of lameness can be as simple as having a herdsman walking through the barns to check for lame cows, or giving hooves a once-over when cows are in the milking parlor.

Approach lameness detection with the same dedication you would in preventing mastitis.  Keep hooves dry, clean and cool to minimize the growth of bacteria that can cause diseases such as digital dermatitis (hairy heel wart). Wet, dirty and hot conditions are perfect opportunities for promoting bacterial growth.

Footbaths are another preventative tool. The more a cow’s hooves are exposed to footbath solutions, the more effective prevention will be. Just like teat dips on udders, footbath chemicals or solutions on hooves can help prevent costly problems down the road.

Footbath concentrates like HealMax and HoofMax from AgroChem are designed to obtain results and promote hoof health for reduced risk of disease and lameness. HealMax remains effective in higher temperatures and won’t flash-off like formaldehyde. HoofMax optimizes footbaths based on copper or zinc sulfate to achieve good control with less heavy metals and expense.

Talk to your veterinarian or hoof trimmer today about a hoof care protocol on your dairy.

By Dale Baker and Chip Hendrickson
AgroChem Hoof Care Technical Experts

Empire Farm DaysEmpire Farm Days is just around the corner! The show takes place August 9-11 in Seneca Falls, NY. Be sure to stop by Lot #473B to visit with AgroChem. Learn more about our advanced chemical solutions for hoof care, udder care and equipment sanitation!

By Dale Baker and Chip Hendrickson
AgroChem Hoof Care Technical Experts

HoofMax footbath additive by AgroChemHoofMax Footbath Concentrate is widely used to improve dairy hoof health while reducing copper use and expense. A study of HoofMax Footbath Concentrate in an in-vitro system designed to simulate on-farm conditions found it to be a safe and effective means of controlling the bacteria that cause foot rot and hairy heel warts, using low levels (5 to 10 lbs) of copper sulfate. View the complete study here.

By Dale Baker and Chip Hendrickson
AgroChem Hoof Care Technical  Experts

Looking for ways to reduce lameness in your herd? During a recent workshop at the 2016 London Dairy Congress, Vic Daniel, president of the Hoof Trimmers Association, hosted a seminar on how to reduce lameness in a herd. Check out the video for the 3 important things dairy producers can do now to get a handle on lameness.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW9iwXHaJZU%5D

dairy hoof healthBy Dale Baker and Chip Hendrickson
AgroChem Hoof Care Technical Experts

With summer just around the corner, farmers may be seeing more of their veterinarians. Freshening cows, pregnancy checks and difficult birthings may be on the top of the list for a vet’s visit. However, are cows’ hooves being looked at, too?

“An area that has not been actively pursued by veterinarians is the area of actively monitoring hoof health on a routine basis,” said Dr. Gerard Cramer in a 2015 study from the American Association of Bovine Practitioners.

“As a starting point, veterinarians can work with hoof trimmers and farm staff to establish and standardize the recording systems,” said Dr. Cramer.

Although a majority of dairy farms have a hoof trimmer, some trimmers do not keep records of hoof problems, such as digital dermatitis. Once veterinary records are established, producers can monitor which cows have hoof problems and how they are being treated. Records can also assist with crew training.

“Possibly the greatest opportunity for veterinarians to get involved in hoof health is for them to provide training and monitoring programs for on-farm staff,” says Dr. Cramer. Senior workers may not have time to review the importance of hoof care with new employees. That’s where veterinarians can step in to help teach new workers.

Once crew members can correctly monitor hoof health, they can help determine frequency of footbathing. Hoof problems like digital dermatitis can decrease in a herd with proper treatment at the right time. Early diagnosis of hoof problems can reduce production loss, emergency vet or hoof trimmer visits, and cullings.

With its multiple formulations, HealMax from AgroChem gives producers several options. “Used correctly, HealMax delivers positive results in one week. I would recommend it to anyone whether or not they have a [digital dermatitis] issue,” says Dr. Mark Whelan.

Ask your veterinarian how he or she can help with your dairy’s hoof health this summer and year ’round.

digital dermatitis in beef cattle

By Dale Baker and Chip Hendrickson
AgroChem Hoof Care Technical Experts

Researchers at Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine recently said the incidence of digital dermatitis is increasing on beef feedlots, according to an article in Iowa Farmer Today.

Dr. Paul Plummer, an assistant professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine at Iowa State, and a team of researchers have been awarded a three-year, $500,000 grant from the USDA to study the disease on feedlots.

Digital dermatitis, also called hairy heel wart, is a bacterial disease that causes painful, wart-like lesions between the bulbs of the heels. If left untreated, it can lead to lameness, reduced fertility and reduced performance in both beef and dairy cattle.

Dr. Plummer said it’s unclear exactly why digital dermatitis is increasing on beef cattle feedlots, but believes environmental contamination and management may play a role.

“Dairy farmers have learned to manage the disease and minimize lameness,” Plummer said. “But feedlots aren’t equipped in the same way to do that. Controlling the disease is a lot more difficult on the feedlots.”

Options for managing digital dermatitis on feedlots include topical salves, antibiotics and footbaths. HealMax is a biodegradable product, popular with dairy producers, which achieves results without formaldehyde or heavy metals. It is available as a spray, foam and footbath concentrate. HoofMax is a chemical additive designed to optimize footbaths based on copper or zinc sulfate, to keep copper working even in the presence of organic material.

Both products are available through AgroChem or your veterinarian. Visit Agrochemin.com for more information.

By Dale Baker and Chip Hendrickson
AgroChem Hoof Care Technical Experts

dairy hoof health, agrochem websiteAgroChem’s new website showcases all of its advanced chemical solutions for dairy producers! The website features sections on AgroChem’s hoof care products, udder care solutions and milk house chemicals. Dairy producers can also find information on AgroChem products made for automated milking systems.

Check it out today at www.agrocheminc.com!