Lameness is the third most important problem on many modern dairy farms after mastitis and reproductive failure. The considerable economic losses are attributable to the cost of treatment, decreased milk production, decreased reproductive performance, and increased culling. The incidence of lameness has steadily increased over the past 20 years, and on some farms over half of the animals become lame at least once each year.

Possible causes are:

  • Confinement of cows to harder, wet and abrasive floors

  • Housing conditions which are not ideal for resting time

  • Prolonged exposure of feet to wet manure

  • Nutritional mismanagement which encourage rumen acidosis

  • Slippery floors

  • Failure to recognize and institute prompt treatment of lameness

  • Trimming techniques & schedules

  • Genetics

  • High infection pressure