Tag Archives: HealMax

Winter Hoof Care: What You Need to Know

Nearly every dairy in the US has an issue with digital dermatitis at one point or another. What are you doing to control it?

With winter right around the corner, you will have a real headache on your hands if you don’t have your hoof care under control.

What is Dairy Cow Lameness Really Costing You?

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

A lame cow is an economic liability on a dairy farm. On a 500-cow dairy with a lameness incidence rate of 20% and a per-cow cost of $90, lameness can cost a dairy operation $9,000 a year. A Wisconsin study estimated the total cost of a lame dairy cow to be as high as $300 per case.

Why is lameness so costly? Treatment, reduced feed intake, reduced milk yield, reduced fertility and increased labor all play a role.

Identifying lame cows can be problematic. Lameness scoring is a common tool used for managing hoof problems. Cow behavior can also be another way to sort out cows with lameness issues.

Overall, lameness can be minimized by increasing cow comfort, avoiding overcrowding, and developing and maintaining a treatment system. Most dairy producers routinely use footbaths to prevent and treat hoof problems, and minimize the incidence of lameness.

Footbath concentrates like HealMax and HoofMax can be effective tools in the fight against lameness.

HealMax is a biodegradable product which achieves results without formaldehyde or heavy metals. HoofMax optimizes copper or zinc sulfate in the footbath to remain effective even at significantly reduced metals levels.

To learn more about reducing lameness on your dairy operation, 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.