Sensor-Based Detection of the Severity of Hyperkeratosis in the Teats of Dairy Cows

Sensors (Basel). 2018 Nov 14;18(11):3925. doi: 10.3390/s18113925.


The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the severity of hyperkeratosis (HK) in the teats of dairy cows can be assessed by a dielectric measurement. The study focused on surveying the occurrence of hyperkeratosis in a total of 241 teats of lactating dairy cows. A scoring system consisting of four categories was used to macroscopically assess the severity of HK. Additionally, the dielectric constant (DC) of all teats with milkability was measured in a double iteration with the MoistureMeterD (Delfin Technologies, Kuopio, Finland) on four different days. The Spearman rank correlation coefficient revealed a negative correlation between the DC and HK score (rs = -0.55 to -0.36). The results of the regression analysis showed that the DC values differed significantly between healthy teat ends (≤2) and teat ends with HK (≥3). Thus, the non-invasive measurement of DC provides a promising method of objectively assessing the occurrence and severity of HK.

Keywords: dairy cow; dielectric constant; sensor; teat end hyperkeratosis; water content.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biosensing Techniques*
  • Cattle
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Hyperkeratosis, Epidermolytic / diagnosis*
  • Hyperkeratosis, Epidermolytic / physiopathology
  • Hyperkeratosis, Epidermolytic / veterinary
  • Lactation / physiology
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / physiopathology*
  • Regression Analysis