Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Hoof fissures

Synonym(s): vertical wall fissures, axial wall fissures, horizontal wall fissures, sand cracks, hardship line, thimbling

Contributor(s): Nick Bell, Sophie Mahendran , Sara Maria Pedersen

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Overview

  • Hoof wall fissures are a group of defects caused by a variety of insults. They are named according to their anatomical position and orientations.
  • There is very limited research into these lesions.
  • Cause: nutritional imbalance or disturbance; disruption to health hoof horn growth; extreme changes in environmental conditions; poor foot conformation, with genetic link, weak brittle hoof wall, too long an interval between routine trimming. More common in older cattle.
  • Signs: self-evident; no lameness is apparent with many fissures.
  • Diagnosis: careful visual examination of the foot; rule out other causes of lameness Approach to the lame cow.
  • Treatment: correct hoof balance through therapeutic trimming, NSAIDs.
  • Prognosis: depends on the type of crack and underlying cause. Vertical fissures are prone to recurrence and some are complicated by Treponemal infections.

Vertical wall hoof fissures

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Axial wall hoof fissures

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Horizontal wall hoof fissures

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Greenough R (2001) Sand cracks, horizontal fissures, and other conditions affecting the wall of the bovine claw. Veterinary clinics of North America: food animal practice 17 (1), 93–110 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Desrochers A, Anderson D E & St Jean G (2018) Surgical disease and techniques of the digit. Vet clin of North America 24 (3), 535-550.
  • Egger-Danner C, Nielsen P, Fiedler A et al (2015) ICAR Claw Health Atlas.
  • Guard C (2008) “Chapter 11 - Musculoskeletal disorders.” In: Rebhun’s diseases of dairy cattle. Eds: Divers T & Peek S. 2nd edn. Saint Louis: W.B. Saunders. pp 467–503.
  • van Amstel S & Shearer J (2008) Manual for treatment and control of lameness in cattle. Wiley.


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