Journal of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

Volume: 54 Issue: 4

  • Open Access
  • Research Article

Clinical lameness in postpartum lactating dairy cattle: a prevalence study#

M. J. Abhiram*, Laiju M. Philip, Reji Varghese, Jith John Mathew and K. D. John Martin

#Part of MVSc thesis submitted to Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Pookode, Wayanad, Kerala

1 MVSc Scholar
2 Assistant Professor
3 Assistant Professor, Teaching Veterinary Clinical complex
4 Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Nutrition
5 Professor and Head

* Corresponding author: [email protected], Ph. 8157045702

Year: 2023, Page: 891-897, Doi:

Received: Nov. 9, 2022 Accepted: Dec. 27, 2022 Published: Dec. 31, 2023


A study was carried out to identify the prevalence of clinical lameness and associated claw affections in dairy cows using claw health indicators, claw dimensions and locomotion scoring. Hundred postpartum lactating dairy cattle reared under similar managemental conditions were subjected to body weight estimation, body condition scoring (BCS), evaluation of claw health indicators, claw dimension measurement and lameness scoring. Animals with higher score on claw health indicators and locomotion score were subjected to functional hoof trimming. A prevalence of 20 per cent clinical lameness was observed in the present study. Significantly increased claw length and reduced heel height were observed in dairy cows with higher locomotion score while body weight, body condition score and claw health indicators had no significant relationship with locomotion score on statistical analysis. Sole ulcers and white line lesion were identified as the major sole lesions causing clinical lameness in postpartum lactating dairy cattle.

Keywords: Lameness, postpartum lactating dairy cattle, claw health indicators


Anees, R. 2019. Morphometric and radiographic evaluation and management of hoof affections in dairy cattle. M. V. Sc. thesis. Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Wayanad. 172p.

Anees, R., Dinesh, P.T., Nithin, C.J., Sooryadas, S., Chandy, G. and David, P.V. 2022. Fig.5. Sole ulcer Fig.6. White line lesion Fig.7. Heel horn erosion Radiographic evaluation of hoof affections in dairy cattle. J. Vet. Anim. Sci. 53: 158-162.

Benz, B., Barsch, T., Hubert, S. and Richter, T. 2014. The influence of elastic rubber mats in a milking parlour on claw dimensions of dairy cows. Landtechnik. 69: 290-295.

Clarkson, M. J., Downham, D.Y., Faull, W. B., Hughes, J.W., Manson, F.J., Merritt, J.B., Murray, R.D., Russell, W.B., Sutherst, J.E. and Ward, W.R. 1996. Incidence and prevalence of lameness in dairy cattle. Vet. Rec. 138: 563-567.

Espejo, L.A. and Endres, M.I., 2007. Herdlevel risk factors for lameness in highproducing Holstein cows housed in freestall barns. J. Dairy Sci. 90: 306- 314. Gibbons, J., Vasseur, E., Rushen, J. and De Passillé, A.M. 2012. A training programme to ensure high repeatability of injury scoring of dairy cows. UFAW J. Anim. Welf. 21: 379-388.

Goonewardene, L.A. and Hand, R.K., 1995. A study of hoof cracks in grazing cattle—Association of age, weight and fatness. Canadian J. Ani. Sci. 75: 25-29.

Green, L.E., Hedges, V.J., Schukken, Y.H., Blowey, R.W. and Packington, A.J. 2002. The impact of clinical lameness on the milk yield of dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 85: 2250-2256.

Greenough, P. 2007. Bovine laminitis and lameness: A hands on approach. Elsevier Health Sciences. USA. 311p.

Kibar, M. and Çağlayan, T. 2016. Effect of hoof trimming on milk yield in dairy cows with foot disease. Acta Sci. Vet. 44: 13700.

Leach, K.A., Dippel, S., Huber, J., March, S., Winckler, C. and Whay, H.R. 2009. Assessing lameness in cows kept in tiestalls. J. Dairy Sci. 92: 1567- 1574.

Mohamadnia, A. and Khaghani, A. 2013. Evaluation of hooves’ morphometric parameters in different hoof trimming times in dairy cows. Vet. Res. Forum 4: 245- 249.

Peake, K.A., Biggs, A.M., Argo, C.M., Smith, R.F., Christley, R.M., Routly, J.E. and Dobson, H. 2011. Effects of lameness, subclinical mastitis and loss of body condition on the reproductive performance of dairy cows. Vet. Rec. 168: 301-301.

Philip, L. M. 2018. Colour atlas of hoof care in dairy cattle. Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Pookode, Wayanad. 124p.

Philip, L. M. 2022. Autologous platelet rich plasma for treatment of sole lesions and expression profile of associated biomarkers in dairy cattle. Ph. D. thesis, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Pokoode, Wayanad. 248 p.

Philip, L.M., Martin, J.K.D., Venugopal, S.K., Anoop, S., Raji, K. and Simon, S. 2022. Alteration of claw dimensions in dairy cows affected with laminitis related sole lesions. J. Vet. Anim. Sci. 53: 441-445.

Popescu, S., Stefan, R., Diugan, E.A., Borda, C., Spinu, M. and Sandru, C.D. 2010. Relationship between barn hygiene and lameness prevalence in thirty-five Transylvanian dairy farms. Bull. UASVM Vet. Med. 67: 222-227.

Potterton, S. L., Bell, N.J., Whay, H.R., Berry, E.A., Atkinson, O.C.D., Dean, R.S., Main, D.C.J. and Huxley, J.N. 2012. A descriptive review of the peer and nonpeer reviewed literature on the treatment and prevention of foot lameness in cattle published between 2000 and 2011. Vet. J. 193: 612- 616.

Raulkar, R.V., Thorat M. G., Kuralkar S.V., Chepte S.D., Waghmare S.P. and Kharwadkar M.D. 2016. Morphometric evaluation of hooves in different affections of hoof in cattle. Int. J. Agric. Sci. 8: 975-9107.

Rutherford, K.M.D., Langford, F.M., Jack, M.C., Sherwood, L., Lawrence, A.B. and Haskell, M.J. 2008. Hock injury prevalence and associated risk factors on organic and nonorganic dairy farms in the United Kingdom. J. Dairy Sci. 91: 2265-2274.

Siddiqui, M.U., Lateef. M., Bashir, M.K., Bilal, M.Q., Muhammed, G., Mustafa, M.I., Rehman, S.U. 2015. Estimation of body weight using different body measurements in Sahiwal cattle. Pakistan J. Life Social Sci. 13: 12 -15.

Solano, L., Barkema, H.W., Pajor, E.A., Mason, S., LeBlanc, S.J., Nash, C.G.R., Haley, D.B., Pellerin, D., Rushen, J., de Passillé, A.M. and Vasseur, E. 2016. Associations between lying behavior and lameness in Canadian Holstein-Friesian cows housed in free stall barns. J. Dairy Sci. 99: 2086- 2101.

Somers, J. G. C. J., Schouten, W. G. P., Frankena, K., Noordhuizen-Stassen, E. N. and Metz, J. H. M. 2005. Development of claw traits and claw lesions in dairy cows kept on different floor systems. J. Dairy Sci. 88: 110-120.

Sprecher, D.E.A., Hostetler, D.E. and Kaneene, J.B., 1997. A lameness scoring system that uses posture and gait to predict dairy cattle reproductive performance. Theriogenology. 47:1179-1187.

Vermunt, J. and Greenough, P. A. 1995. Evaluation of subclinical laminitis and associated lesions in dairy cattle. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on diseases of ruminant digit., Liverpool. 45- 53.

Zahid, U. N., Randhawa, S. S., Hussain, S. A., Randhawa, S. S., Mahajan, V. and Dua, K. 2014. Claw lesions causing clinical lameness in lactating Holstein Friesian crossbred cows. Vet. Med. Int. 2014: 1- 8.

Cite this article

Abhiram, M. J., Philip, L.M., Varghese, R., Mathew, J.J., Martin. J.K.D. 2023. Clinical lameness in post-partum lactating dairy cattle: a prevalence study. J. Vet. Anim. Sci. 54(4):891-897.