Cow with split claw - vertical

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Well-known member
Apr 28, 2004
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Kaufman, County TX
Would like some advise on what I should do with a 6-year-old cow (my best cow... up to this point) that has a very large split or cracked claw that extends from the top of the toe to the bottom of the claw - vertical. She is not getting around very well, but is able to eat and walk gingerly on it. I had a vet take a look at her a couple of days ago and he cleaned and trimmed the claw saying that it would take some of the pressure off and she would get some better but would have good days and bad days.

I have never had a cow with a situation like this and would like to salvage her if possible. Now I don't want to spend a lot of money either, but I would like to know if any of yall have had experiences with split or cracked claw and what recommendations do yall have. The sale is tomorrow and if I need to cull her I will take her then. I will appreciate any advice.
I wonder if a good horse shoer could "stitch" it (with horseshoe nails) like they do quarter cracks on a horse?
Our vet has taken a wood block and glued it to the claw that is not cracked so that she only puts pressure on it when she walks. Then glue and bandage the cracked claw so that it can heal without pressure being out on it. She wuold have to be in a small pen so she would't have to walk a lot to get food and water.

What you can do, and this works well, with our frequent floods and then hot dry windy weather, we go from extreme wet to extrem dry and this causes sever foot troubles when you have any at all

What can happen is you will have softening of the toes, which become soft them brittle then they brake, or split due to a pre-existing weekness in the hoof wall.

What I prefere to do is slip the beast over, shorten the affected toe, using a dremel tool at the corronary band or hair line, agressivly sever the split down to healthy hoof tissue then stop, then make sure you have trimmed down to healthy hoof wall on the affefted toe, slightly trim the un-affected toe and use a "cow-slip", it is a plastic slipper to ellivate the healthy toe and bear all the weight for that leg, thus releaving any preasure on the affected toe, allowing hoof growth to occure with out further damage to the affected toe,
any vet should have them, or you can order them on-line from valley vet supply or Nasco farm and ranch supply,

they are appoxied on, and last a month if put on correctly, you must use acetone to clean the hoof before aplying the cow-slip or the appoxy will not set well, and it will fall off, if you have the means to, I would also try to keep her up in a dry lot/stall and keep the hoof clean, also aply tincture of iodine to the interdigital space as well as the area that was dremelled
Thanks everyone for your posts...I didn't get a chance to read them until today (pretty crafty). Why the vet didn't give me some of these options I'll never know, but I will not use him anymore. I believe he didn't want to mess with it at the time. Anyhow, because of the market and not really knowing what to do, I sold her at the auction Saturday. She brought good money even for a slaughter cow.

Again thanks for your posts. I will remember them for the next time something like this comes up.

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