Objective determination of claw pain and its relationship to limb locomotion score in dairy cattle

Journal of Dairy Science
R M DyerP G Rajkondawar


We hypothesized that claw and foot pain could be objectively determined and have a strong effect on limb locomotion. Claw pain was measured using hoof testers equipped with a pressure gauge. Soft tissue pain was evaluated with an algometer. Pain was determined as the maximum pressure recorded at the time the limb was withdrawn following claw or soft tissue compression with the hoof tester or algometer. Locomotion scores and claw and soft tissue pain were determined on 263 Holstein cows from 2 commercial dairy farms. The frequency and the magnitude of pain had an effect on locomotion score in the ipsilateral limb for lateral, but not medial, claws. The magnitude of the lateral claw pain index for limbs with locomotion scores 1 to 5 was 0.95 +/- 0.01, 0.90 +/- 0.02, 0.67 +/- 0.04, 0.65 +/- 0.05, and 0.45 +/- 0.11, respectively. The magnitude of the medial claw pain index for limbs with locomotion scores 1 to 5 was 1.0 +/- 0.00, 0.99 +/- 0.01, 0.98 +/- 0.01, 1.0 +/- 0.00, and 1.0 +/- 0.00, respectively. The frequency of painful claws (n = 208) in limbs with locomotion scores 1, 2, and > or =3 was 0.529, 0.173, and 0.298, respectively. The frequency of painless claws (n = 318) in limbs with locomotion scores 1, 2, or > or =3 was 0....Continue Reading


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