Essential guides on cattle farming. Hoof diseases
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Essential guides on cattle farming. Hoof diseases

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Lameness is an issue of great concern for farmers and veterinary practitioners around the world. It affects both dairy and beef cattle farmers and is one of the main causes for culling animals. The interest in achieving good hoof health in cattle herds is not only due to the negative consequences of lameness on the farm’s productivity and profitability, but also to social pressure as a result of animal welfare legislations. The main objective of this guide is not to provide a specific view on hoof care, but to address the topic from a global point of view by gathering the authors’ experiences. This handbook, written by experts in this field, is an instructive and visual guide, which will show readers how to analyse the most important characteristics of lameness and the main measures for its control and optimal prevention.

Adrián González Sagüés (author)

He graduated in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Zaragoza. His work has focused, for the past 25 years, on lameness and welfare in cattle. He is the founder and technical director of ANKA Hoof Care, a company dedicated exclusively to hoof care and to providing training and consulting services in this field in several countries, as well as to the design of materials and equipment for hoof health.

Adrián was one of the professors of the Master Hoof Care organised by the University of Florida; he has trimmed more than 100,000 cows in several countries thanks to his job as a professor, and has also been the coordinator of the hoof care committee of ANEMBE (Spanish Association of Specialists in Bovine Medicine).

Adrián collaborates in scientific and specialised publications on a regular basis. He has participated in the writing of several publications and in the organisation of meetings and courses on lameness.

Some of the publications in which he has collaborated are the Cuaderno de campo: cuidado de pezuñas en vacuno lechero (Field notebook: hoof care in dairy cattle) and the Tratado de Veterinaria BOVIS (BOVIS Treatise of Veterinary Medicine), published in 2003. He has also co-authored the books Manual of foot care in cattle and Laminitis y claudicaciones en bovinos (Laminitis and lameness in cattle), published in 2005 and 2009 respectively.

Almudena Molinero Argüello (scientific coordinator)

She graduated in Veterinary Medicine from the Complutense University of Madrid. She has completed internships in the large animal and ambulatory care units of the University of Hannover and the University of Munich veterinary teaching hospitals.

She has worked 3 years in ANKA, focused in dairy cattle hoof health, being in charge of quality control, trainings and advice to hoof trimmers, farmers and vets. Nowadays, she works in UNIFORM-Agri in Spain, a herd management software company.


Gerard Cramer

He has been an associate professor at the University of Minnesota since 2013. He completed his studies in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Guelph in 2002 and obtained his PhD in 2007. He worked as a livestock farmer in his own company for seven years. Between 2008 and 2013, he worked for the hoof care service Cramer mobile veterinary Services in Ontario (Canada).

Loris de Vecchis

PhD in Veterinary Medicine. He is internationally renowned for his experience in the field of hoof surgery. He currently works as a specialist clinician in hoof health and collaborates with the University of Milan. He frequently collaborates with Professor Carlo Maria Mortellaro.

Charles L. Guard

Charles completed his PhD in Biology from the Case Western Reserve University in 1975 and graduated in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University in 1980. He had previously obtained a degree in biomedical engineering in 1970.

Charles is very active in research and training programmes. His main topics of interest are lameness and its impact on the farm’s economy and performance.

Juan Manuel Ramos

Juan Manuel is graduated in Veterinary Medicine and he is specialised in cattle and lameness in extensive farming systems. He currently works as an academic coordinator for the subject of Milk Production Systems at the Technical University of Uruguay (UTEC).

Andrea Fiedler

She completed her studies in Veterinary Medicine in Munich in 1991 and obtained her PhD in 1994. She has worked as a large animal veterinary surgeon since then. Andrea is specialised in bovine hoof health and provides hoof care and consulting services. She is currently a tenured professor of hoof care in Germany and collaborates with the Hoof Hygiene and Hoof Health Committee of the German Agricultural Society (DLG).

1. Introduction

Lameness worldwide

Temperate climates. Intensive dairy farming

Temperate climates. Extensive dairy farming

Dry and arid climates

Tropical climates

Consequences of lameness

2. Anatomy and physiology

Key structures



Other anatomical structures

Bones and suspensory apparatus

Digital cushions

3. Biomechanics

Basic concepts

Weight bearing

Overgrowth of the lateral claw

Forelimb biomechanics

Biomechanics and movement


Risk factors in biomechanics

4. Diagnosis of lameness

Postural diagnosis

Abnormal postures caused by lameness

Upper limb lameness

Locomotion Scoring System described

by Sprecher

5. Hoof trimming

Basic concepts

Hoof overgrowth

Functional hoof trimming method

Restraint. Required equipment

Mechanical restraint

Tools required

6. Hoof diseases

Classification of diseases


Classification of laminitis

Digital cushions disorders

Sole haemorrhages

Secondary diseases of the hoof

Sole ulcers

Toe ulcer and necrosis

White line disease

Sole-heel fissure

Hoof wall fissure

Environmental diseases

Dermatitis (digital and interdigital)

Interdigital phlegmon or foot rot

Interdigital hyperplasia

Overconsumption. Thin sole


Iatrogenic lameness

Corkscrew claw

7. Treatment

Hoof blocks

Placement: points to consider


8. Control and prevention


Lameness prevention programs

Data collection and analysis


Facilities and animal welfare in dairy


9. Bibliography

  • Autor/es Adrián González Sagüés, Almudena Molinero Argüello
  • Fecha de edición marzo 2018
  • Nº Páginas 82
  • Encuadernación Tapa blanda. Wire-o
  • Tamaño 17 X 11
  • Idioma Inglés

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