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Abstract

Objective—To examine the relationship between lameness and milk yield in dairy cows.

Design—Cohort study.

Animals—531 dairy cows.

Procedure—Cows affected with lameness were classified into 1 of 3 groups on the basis of type of diseases or lesions observed, including interdigital phlegmon (foot rot), papillomatous digital dermatitis (foot warts), or claw lesions. Cows not affected with lameness were classified as healthy. From Dairy Herd Improvement Association records, 305-day mature equivalent milk yield data were collected at the end of lactation or when the cow left the herd. Milk yield was compared between cows affected with lameness and healthy cows.

Results—167 (31%) cows were affected with lameness during lactation. Lame cows had claw lesions (60%), papillomatous digital dermatitis (31%), or interdigital phlegmon (9%). Milk yield in lame cows with interdigital phlegmon (mean, 17,122 lb) was significantly less, compared with healthy cows (19,007 lb).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In this herd, interdigital phlegmon was associated with a 10% decrease in milk production. Lame cows with claw lesions or papillomatous digital dermatitis produced less milk than healthy cows, but the difference was not significant. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:640–644)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To examine the relationship between lameness and the duration of the interval from calving to subsequent conception in lactating dairy cows.

Design—Cohort study.

Animals—837 dairy cows.

Procedure—Cows affected with lameness were classified into 1 of 4 groups on the basis of types of disease or lesions observed, including foot rot, papillomatous digital dermatitis, claw lesions, or multiple lesions. Cows not affected with lameness were classified as healthy. Time from calving to conception was compared between lame cows and healthy cows.

Results—254 (30%) cows were affected with lameness during lactation. Most lame cows (59%) had claw lesions. Lame cows with claw lesions were 0.52 times as likely to conceive as healthy cows. Median time to conception was 40 days longer in lame cows with claw lesions, compared with healthy cows. Number of breedings per conception for lame cows with claw lesions was significantly higher than that for healthy cows.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Claw lesions were the most important cause of lameness, impairing reproductive performance in dairy cows, as indicated by a higher incidence of affected cows and a greater time from calving to conception and a higher number of breedings required per conception, comp ared with healthy cows. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001; 218:1611–1614)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association