Broken Hoof

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Anonymous

My 5 year old Jersey has broken the toe on her right front, outside claw.

We purchased this cow a few months ago, dry and bred (due at the first of Sept). Her hooves were a bit on the long side and she has horizontal grooves, about 1/2 inch apart, most of the way up the hoof. The new growth that has come since she's been here (just about an inch), appears perfectly normal, with no grooving.

She gets 1 lb/100 lbs of a grain/protein mix formulated just for her, along with good quality alfalfa, a small amount of grass, and she has a mineral block that she does use occasionally.

Since she's been here, there has been some obvious hoof wear, the inside toes on both front feet have broken off with no problem. This time though, the toe has broken a bit shorter, is still attached, and seems to be giving her quite a bit of pain. She's been off feed since she did this Saturday night.

The vet is coming out first thing in the morning to deal with the hoof, but I would like to know if there is anything that I can do for her tonight to make her more comfortable.

I'm also curious as to whether this horizontal grooving in the hooves is a nutritional thing, a management thing, or just what causes it -- it almost looks like "founder" on a horse's hooves. Also, how often should a cow's hooves be trimmed? And is it done in the same manner as a goat's would be? (I've done plenty of goat hooves!)

Ann Bledsoe -- Bledsoe's Bunnies

Breeder of Quality Satin Show Rabbits

Bledsoe's Bunnies Rabbitry
[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> My 5 year old Jersey has broken
> the toe on her right front,
> outside claw.

> We purchased this cow a few months
> ago, dry and bred (due at the
> first of Sept). Her hooves were a
> bit on the long side and she has
> horizontal grooves, about 1/2 inch
> apart, most of the way up the
> hoof. The new growth that has come
> since she's been here (just about
> an inch), appears perfectly
> normal, with no grooving.

> She gets 1 lb/100 lbs of a
> grain/protein mix formulated just
> for her, along with good quality
> alfalfa, a small amount of grass,
> and she has a mineral block that
> she does use occasionally.

> Since she's been here, there has
> been some obvious hoof wear, the
> inside toes on both front feet
> have broken off with no problem.
> This time though, the toe has
> broken a bit shorter, is still
> attached, and seems to be giving
> her quite a bit of pain. She's
> been off feed since she did this
> Saturday night.

> The vet is coming out first thing
> in the morning to deal with the
> hoof, but I would like to know if
> there is anything that I can do
> for her tonight to make her more
> comfortable.

> I'm also curious as to whether
> this horizontal grooving in the
> hooves is a nutritional thing, a
> management thing, or just what
> causes it -- it almost looks like
> "founder" on a horse's
> hooves. Also, how often should a
> cow's hooves be trimmed? And is it
> done in the same manner as a
> goat's would be? (I've done plenty
> of goat hooves!)

> Ann Bledsoe -- Bledsoe's Bunnies

> Breeder of Quality Satin Show
> Rabbits

I don't know what is causing the horizontal grooves in your cow's feet. I do know, however, that cow's feet can be trimmed. My vet uses special shears that kind of look like pruning shears. An easy way to trim a hoof is to stand the cow on wood, and use a wood chisel and mallet to trim off the toe. It's easy and quick if your cow is very gentle or confined.

Some cows wear off their excess hooves by walking on rough ground, and some grow hooves that have to be trimmed periodically. Look at how your cow is standing. She should be "up on her toes," instead of walking on her heels with long toes sticking out in front. I don't mean she should be walking like a ballerina, but that her toes should be short enough that her legs are straight and she looks comfortable.

NASCO has tools, videos and info on trimming cow's hooves. <A HREF="http://www.enasco.com">www.enasco.com</A>
 
OP
A

Anonymous

It seems the cow has been suffering from chronic laminitis -- founder, due to improper feeding at her previous home. Vet said he didn't notice it last time he was out, probably due to muddy conditions.

Since the new growth on the hooves is normal, I was told that with care her hooves should be "normal" by next spring.

Ann Bledsoe -- Bledsoe's Bunnies

Breeder of Quality Satin Show Rabbits

Bledsoe's Bunnies Rabbitry
[email protected]
 

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