Oligofructose overload induces lameness in cattle

Journal of Dairy Science
Anne Mette DanscherM B Thoefner


The aim was to describe the clinical orthopedic implications of oligofructose overload. A group of 8 nonpregnant dairy heifers were given an oral dose of oligofructose (17 g/kg of body weight). At predefined times during a period spanning 3 d before and 9 d after oligofructose overload, the heifers underwent a clinical examination including locomotion scoring, hoof-testing, and palpation of tarso-crural joints, as well as the collection of blood and ruminal fluid samples. Locomotion sessions were videotaped; subsequently, locomotion was blind-scored. Locomotion scores increased after oligofructose overload and declined toward the end of the study period. The greatest locomotion scores were recorded on d 3 to 5 (60 to 120 h) where 12 of 42 (29%) locomotion scores were 3 and 13 of 42 (32%) were score 2. Positive reactions to hoof-testing were observed from 30 h after oligofructose overload and reached a maximum on d 7 and 9 where 12 of 28 (43%) reactions were marked positive. Distension of the tarso-crural joints was observed from 24 h after oligofructose overload, with maximum distension being observed on d 2, in which 44 of 56 (79%) of observed joints were either moderately or severely distended. The heifers developed classic s...Continue Reading


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