Cow Limping / Favoring Rear Leg - Hoof Problems?

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emxmagnum

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Greetings.

We’ve got a 8 year old cow (black, maybe Brangus or beefmasfer cross) that’s having some trouble walking. Problem seems to be with her right, rear leg/hoof. I’ve noticed it for the last few weeks but it doesn’t seem to be getting better. She’s still up and grazing and such, but seems to be in a lot of discomfort and is certainly less mobile than she should be.

I was wondering if some of you fine folks might be able to take a look at the pictures attached and point me in the right direction about treatment options. Both hooves look rough to me, but the hoof in question is on the bottom and/or on the left in the pictures. I think I see some swelling too. She doesn’t act like her left leg bothers her, but the hoof is obviously mis-shaped/malformed. Maybe from favoring the other one?

Thanks in advance.






 

wbvs58

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Gee, if your asking for advice to go about trimming her feet I doubt that you would have the skill/experience to do much with her, the foot is a bit of a mess but if you are determined to try I would start by cutting of that overgrown hoof wall that is curling around and walking on pressing up into the sole. I don't know what you have at your disposal but a hacksaw with a course tooth blade might be as good as any thing by getting under the overgrown wall and sawing to the outside but parallel to the sole for a start.

Treatment would only be to get her into a fit state to ship her off to a sale or else just shoot her on the spot and put her in the freezer.

Ken
 

Lucky_P

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Whoowee. Those are ugly.
The right foot has a huge corn (interdigital fibroma). The left has such incredible overgrowth, that I agree with Ken... it's unlikely that most lay people (or even a significant number of veterinarians!) could do much to get it back to a serviceable condition.
She needs a dose of trailermycin or some New Home liniment.
 
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emxmagnum

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Thanks for the replies Ken and Lucky. Yeah...I was pretty sure this was beyond recovery, but thought maybe somebody out there might have an idea or suggestion.

I’m a first gen cattleman (Dad was a dirt farmer) and she’s one of my initial herd builders. Kind of learning as I go. Anything I could’ve/should’ve done to prevent this (the overgrowth or the corn)? Is “hoof integrity” a genetic thing? Or is a cow with feet this bad destined for cull status? I never even knew that trimming hooves was a thing with cattle, but it seems like it is. Would that have fixed any of this or is not worth the trouble?

She’s been a great cow. 5 good calves with another on the way. I reckon as long as she can still get around and keeps breeding/calving she’s worth keeping?
 

ALACOWMAN

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Probably get slammed for this..but I've used pruning shears on those long toes in the past..they work great without laying them down.put in the chute .scoop up the hoof with the curved side down and trim......give her a few days then part ways with her..you can breed bad feet out of them..but you don't want to perpetuate it..
 

TCRanch

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Just be careful not to trim too much or you'll end up with a bleeder and you may want to consider filing down some of it. Is it also infected? It took a long time for her feet to get this bad; I'm amazed she hasn't lost condition & you've only noticed it the past few weeks. I just sold a 10 year old bred cow with a perpetual bad foot and I should have done it last year.
 
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emxmagnum

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Thanks for the input TC and Cowman. I want to do something to help her if I can, but you guys have got me thinking I might be better off getting the vet out here. Has to be worth a shot. She’s been a good cow. I reckon she’s earned it.

Other than the limp she’s doing pretty well. Been a great pasture year here in KY so I don’t think she’s had to do too much walking. I first noticed the upturned hoof coming out of winter, but like I mentioned in my last post, I didn’t know trimming cow hooves was a thing. Guess I just figured it would take care of itself. She didn’t seem to be bothered at all by that so I didn’t give it much thought. I only noticed the limping here recently, but it’s certainly possible it’s been going on longer than that.
 

Supa Dexta

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A little trim perhaps to start, so she walks a little better - But I'd plan on getting rid of her sooner than later. She's not going to get better with age, and those aren't the type of hooves you want to be putting your herd from her heifers. Feet problem are a major pain in the assh, don't do that to yourself.
 

TCRanch

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emxmagnum":jj4jjasx said:
Thanks for the input TC and Cowman. I want to do something to help her if I can, but you guys have got me thinking I might be better off gvetting the vet out here. Has to be worth a shot. She’s been a good cow. I reckon she’s earned it.

Other than the limp she’s doing pretty well. Been a great pasture year here in KY so I don’t think she’s had to do too much walking. I first noticed the upturned hoof coming out of winter, but like I mentioned in my last post, I didn’t know trimming cow hooves was a thing. Guess I just figured it would take care of itself. She didn’t seem to be bothered at all by that so I didn’t give it much thought. I only noticed the limping here recently, but it’s certainly possible it’s been going on longer than that.
Can you stick your finger or a stick between her toes and take a whiff? There's no mistaking the smell of foot rot or an infection! And is her temp normal? A Vet can get her foot trimmed and deal with any infection, possibly long enough for her to calve, but that's a temporary solution. I understand wanting to keep her because she's been a great cow - been there. Moved my girl to a small pasture where she could easily get around, took special care of her and trimmed her wonky foot regularly. Gave her Draxxin, Sustain, LA300 . . . nothing ever really cleared her infection, was most likely in the bone. She successfully calved - and stepped on his head when she was getting up. It was an expensive and heartbreaking lesson learned. For what it's worth . . .
 
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emxmagnum

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Understood, TC. And thanks again for the guidance. You’re probably right, just tough to make some of these calls. That whole head vs heart thing...

I’ll check her for infection and then go from there. Thanks to everyone for the tips, suggestions and wise words.
 
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