Herd- and cow-level prevalence of foot lesions in Ontario dairy cattle

J Dairy Sci. 2008 Oct;91(10):3888-95. doi: 10.3168/jds.2008-1135.


The objectives of this cross-sectional study were to determine herd-level and cow-level prevalence estimates for 11 foot lesions in Ontario dairy cattle. Foot lesions were recorded by 5 hoof trimmers on 13,530 cows in 204 Ontario dairy herds from March 2004 to May 2005. Significant differences existed between free-stall and tie-stall housing. In free-stall housing systems, 46.4% of cows had a foot lesion, compared with 25.7% of cows in tie-stall barns. Digital dermatitis was the most common lesion in tie stalls, occurring in 9.3% of cows and 69.7% of the herds, whereas in free-stall herds, 22.7% of cows and 96.7% of the herds were affected. The most common hoof horn lesions were hemorrhages and ulcers, at 7.7 and 4.7% in tie-stall housing and 11.0 and 9.2% in free-stall housing, respectively. Foot blocks were used to treat 2.2% of cows in free stalls and 0.3% in tie stalls. Intraclass correlation coefficients ranged from 9.5 to 17.3 for hoof horn lesions and 28.0 to 38.7 for infectious lesions. In summary, foot lesions diagnosed at the time of hoof trimming are common in Ontario, and appropriate treatment for hoof horn lesions is low.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cattle Diseases / pathology
  • Cattle Diseases / therapy
  • Dairying*
  • Female
  • Foot Diseases / epidemiology
  • Foot Diseases / pathology
  • Foot Diseases / therapy
  • Foot Diseases / veterinary*
  • Hoof and Claw / pathology*
  • Housing, Animal / classification
  • Humans
  • Observer Variation
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Prevalence