Tag Archives: Hairy Heel Wart

Study Shows HoofMax Effectively Controls Digital Dermatitis Bacteria at Lower Copper Sulfate Levels

By Dale Baker and Chip Hendrickson
AgroChem Hoof Care Technical Experts

HoofMax 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 digital dermatitis (hairy heel warts), using low levels (5 to 10 lbs) of copper sulfate. View the complete study here.

Winter Hoof Care

By Dale Baker and Chip Hendrickson
AgroChem Hoof Care Technical Experts

Winter is an important time to keep hoof health in mind. Footbath schedules and treatments may alter due to freezing temperatures. Although many anti-microbials may not be active during the winter months, hairy heel wart bacteria remain effective throughout the year.

Research done by Dr. Nigel Cook shows that January through March are when infectious lesions that lead to lameness are most active (see graph below). Dr. Cook examined 10 Wisconsin dairy farms over a one-year period to collect this data. “Cold weather during the late winter may lead to manure handling problems in the alleys and reduced frequency of the foot-bathing, triggering an elevation in the rate of new [digital dermatitis] infections,” says Dr. Cook.

AgroChem winter hoof care graph

Source: Progressive Dairyman

In freezing temperatures, footbath additives can become less effective. Formaldehyde loses its effectiveness below 45 degrees. HealMax Footbath Concentrate uses no heavy metals or formaldehyde to stay effective in cooler temperatures.

As an alternative to footbaths, farmers may consider using topical treatments in the milking parlor. HealMax Spray or Foam can be applied during milkings to slow down the progression of hairy heel warts.

For more information about cold-weather hoof care, contact your hoof trimmer or veterinarian today.

The Battle with Digital Dermatitis

By Dale Baker and Chip Hendrickson
AgroChem Hoof Care Technical Experts

Digital dermatitis (hairy heel wart) is an ongoing battle for many dairy producers. In this recent article in Dairy Herd Management, Dr. Gabe Middleton outlines how producers can identify the stages of digital dermatitis, and different ways of treating an outbreak.

Common treatments for digital dermatitis are topical salves and footbaths. HealMax Spray from AgroChem is a spot-on application that can be placed directly on digital dermatitis warts. As Dr. Middleton points out, footbaths are important for the prevention of a digital dermatitis outbreak. To reduce the cost of a footbath, consider HoofMax Footbath Concentrate, which can reduce copper sulfate usage by up to 80%. Or to eliminate the use of heavy metals and formaldehyde in your footbath, there is HealMax Footbath Concentrate.

For more information about digital dermatitis and how to treat it, talk to your hoof trimmer or veterinarian.

Classification and Treatment of Digital Dermatitis

By Dale Baker and Chip Hendrickson
AgroChem Hoof Care Technical Experts

Hary Heel Wart - Digital DermatitisDigital dermatitis, or hairy heel wart, is a widespread and prevalent disease among beef and dairy cattle which can have long term and severe impacts on herd health and productivity. This is a condition that dairy farmers cannot ignore and hope that it goes away. In an October 2015 article by Maggie Seiler, Special Publications Editor for Hoard’s Dairyman, she states:

Management commitments to hoof health are necessary to reduce the prevalence of the disease in the herd.

To care for your cows, you need a long-term strategy that begins with classification of the disease, and a commitment to treatment and management. 

An excellent method of digital dermatitis classification was introduced by Dörte Döpfer and associates in the 1990s which classifies warts into five different categories:

  • None: No lesions present.
  • Small: Affected area less than 3/4”, red to gray in color, and normal walking.
  • Large: Affected area larger that 3/4”, bright red or red-gray, walking is painful.
  • Healing: Scab covering affected area and becoming smaller.
  • Chronic: characterized by hard and thickened skin and/or continuous warts. Cows with warts in this category can suffer from chronic lameness.

Treatment and Management
Experience teaches that better outcomes prevail when treatment occurs before a large growth appears. Fortunately, there are many treatment options for managing hairy heel wart:

  • Topical salves
  • Antibiotics
  • Footbaths

AgroChem offers excellent options for dairy hoof problems. HealMax® is a biodegradable formula which achieves results without formaldehyde, heavy metals or harsh acids. It is available in a spray, foam, and footbath concentrate formulation, and remains effective in both hot and cold weather. HoofMax® is a footbath additive that can increase the potency copper or zinc sulfate for healthier hooves with more cow passes, less labor and waste, and reduced copper loading on land.

What about prevention?
The bad news is that hairy heel wart is widespread and extremely difficult, if not impossible, to eliminate. However, despite its prevalence, the good news is that this debilitating disease can be managed effectively. Producers who aren’t sure where to start might consider beginning their management program with fresh cow groups which are vulnerable to infection. With proper management, dairy farmers and ranch operations can reap the benefits of long term herd health and productivity.

For more information about digital dermatitis, talk to your veterinarian or hoof trimmer today.

Hairy Heel Wart: An Emerging Problem in Feedlots

Hairy Heel Wart - Digital DermatitisBy Dale Baker
AgroChem Hoof Care Technical Expert

Hairy Heel Wart, (Digital Dermatitis), a condition well-known to dairy producers, is quickly becoming an issue for beef producers as well. According to Dr. Jan Shearer, ISU Extension Veterinarian at Iowa State University, there has been an increase in incidence of DD, causing a significant problem for the beef industry.

Digital Dermatitis causes heel erosion and eats away at the skin, causing very painful lesions most commonly found in the plantar interdigital cleft. Once a herd is infected, recurrence is common, which has prompted many feedlot owners to seek ways to manage DD. The answer to this emerging lameness issue for beef producers is to establish effective and economical treatment and control strategies, such as:

Topical products have been shown to be effective against hairy heel wart. Products like HealMax, available in a spray or foam formulation, provide feedlot operators with a formaldehyde-free, heavy metal-free option for digital dermatitis.

Footbaths containing copper sulfate are widely used in the dairy industry, and can be very effective in cleaning and disinfecting hooves. Feedlot owners are challenged to find the best location for a footbath so cattle cannot jump over or step around it. Copper loading on land can also be a problem. The use of footbath additives can help boost the potency of copper or zinc sulfate, remaining effective even after the bath is heavily loaded with manure and urine, and significantly reduce the amount of copper required for comparable results. HoofMax is a proven chemical additive shown to reduce copper sulfate use by up to 80 percent.

Want to know more about hoof care in feedlot? Contact Agrochem, Inc. today, or your hoof trimmer or veterinarian.

Source: Dr. Jan Shearer, Iowa State University https://beef.unl.edu/feedlotroundtable2012

Assessing Lameness in Dairy Cows

By Dale Baker
AgroChem Hoof Care Technical Expert

ACI Blog Pic

The multiple challenges of fighting the “good fight” against infectious hoof disease can make it tough to gauge the real extent of lameness in your dairy herd. They can also inadvertently lead to some cows being retreated for the same stubborn hoof lesion at every trimming, while others who may need it go untreated.

Noted veterinary researcher Dr. Nigel Cook of the University of Wisconsin–Madison has authored a new guide that more effectively systematizes lameness management in large and small dairy herds. Calling current statistics “deeply flawed,” Cook aims for a truer picture of the extent—and causes—of lameness within an operation, outlining a defined plan for permanently reducing lameness levels over time.

Several years in the making, Cook’s system starts with locomotion scoring at specific intervals, based on herd size, and monitors the proportion of cows with abnormal locomotion scores over time. Detailed recordkeeping throughout ensures that all cows are accurately assessed, while also identifying the prevailing causes of lameness.

Among the primary trigger factors for lameness, Cook’s study calls digital dermatitis (hairy heel wart) “by far the most common infectious lesion found in dairy herds.”

When you’re fighting digital dermatitis and other infectious hoof diseases, manage it by implementing a regular footbath program using copper or zinc sulfate footbaths with HoofMax® by AgroChem, Inc. Producers use HoofMax to increase copper/zinc potency which promotes hoof hardness, and helps fight digital dermatitis and other diseases.

If you’re looking to limit the amount of formaldehyde being used, producers may want to consider using a HealMax®, as well. This formaldehyde-free solution helps reduce the incidence, severity, duration and recurrence of digital dermatitis in lactating dairy cows.

For more information on protecting herd hoof health, consult your hoof trimmer or veterinarian.

SOURCE: Nigel B. Cook MRCVS, “A Guide to Investigating a Herd Lameness Problem,” University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine.

New study shows HealMax is effective against digital dermatitis

By Dale Baker
AgroChem Hoof Care Technical Expert

A recent study by a leading European authority on bovine hoof health disorders found HealMax® Footbath Concentrate by AgroChem, Inc. reduced the incidence, severity, duration and recurrence of digital dermatitis (DD) lesions in lactating dairy cows.

The study, which was conducted by Dr. Andrea Fiedler over a 115-day period, examined more than 300 cows on a commercial dairy farm in central Germany. Animals were assessed for the presence, severity and size of DD lesions in both treated and untreated cows. The results showed that cows treated with HealMax Footbath Concentrate:

• Were half as likely as controls to develop acute digital dermatitis lesions
• Were three times more likely to have acute, painful lesions change to a healing, non-painful stage
• Experienced faster healing of existing DD lesions
• Experienced DD outbreaks less frequently
• Experienced less recurrence of acute DD lesions

You can read more about the study on the Hoard’s Dairyman Website.