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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate efficacy of topical treatment with oxytetracycline solution among dairy cows with papillomatous digital dermatitis (PDD) lesions on the interdigital cleft, heels, or dewclaw.

Design—Clinical trial.

Animals—70 dairy cows from a single herd.

Procedure—On the basis of anatomic location of PDD lesions, cows were allocated into 1 of 3 groups (interdigital cleft [n = 14], heels [30], or dewclaw [26]) and treated topically with oxytetracycline solution. Cows were examined 14 and 30 days after initial treatment. During each examination, pain and lesion size scores were recorded.

Results—On the basis of pain and lesion size scores, oxytetracycline appeared significantly less effective among cows with lesions on the interdigital cleft than for cows with lesions on the heels or the dewclaw. Number of cows with signs of pain or visible lesions after treatment was significantly higher for cows with lesions on the interdigital cleft than for cows with lesions on heels or the dewclaw.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Anatomic location of PDD lesions has an effect on the efficacy of topical treatment with oxytetracycline solution in dairy cows affected with PDD. Cows with lesions on the interdigital cleft were less likely to respond to treatment, compared with cows with lesions on the heels or the dewclaw. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1288–1290)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine the optimal anatomic site and directional aim of a penetrating captive bolt (PCB) for euthanasia of goats.

SAMPLE 8 skulls from horned and polled goat cadavers and 10 anesthetized horned and polled goats scheduled to be euthanized at the end of a teaching laboratory.

PROCEDURES Sagittal sections of cadaver skulls from 8 horned and polled goats were used to determine the ideal anatomic site and aiming of a PCB to maximize damage to the midbrain region of the brainstem for euthanasia. Anatomic sites for ideal placement and directional aiming were confirmed by use of 10 anesthetized horned and polled goats.

RESULTS Clinical observation and postmortem examination of the sagittal sections of skulls from the 10 anesthetized goats that were euthanized confirmed that perpendicular placement and firing of a PCB at the intersection of 2 lines, each drawn from the lateral canthus of 1 eye to the middle of the base of the opposite ear, resulted in consistent disruption of the midbrain and thalamus in all goats. Immediate cessation of breathing, followed by a loss of heartbeat in all 10 of the anesthetized goats, confirmed that use of this site consistently resulted in effective euthanasia.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Damage to the brainstem and key adjacent structures may be accomplished by firing a PCB perpendicular to the skull over the anatomic site identified at the intersection of 2 lines, each drawn from the lateral canthus of 1 eye to the middle of the base of the opposite ear.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

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

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 assess the extent of damage to the skull and brain of cadaveric dairy goat kids caused by a .22-caliber, 16-g pellet fired from a multipump air pistol at various power levels.

SAMPLE

Cadavers of 8 male and 7 female dairy goat kids ≤ 5 days old.

PROCEDURES

Each cadaver was positioned in sternal recumbency with the head and neck extended on a straw bale. A multipump air pistol was held with the barrel perpendicular to and 2.5 cm from the head at the intersection of 2 imaginary lines that extended from the lateral canthus of each eye to the middle of the contralateral ear base and fired at half (5 pumps; n = 2), intermediate (7 pumps; 2), or full (10 pumps; 11) power. The head and neck were removed from the carcass for CT imaging and gross sectioning to determine the location of the pellet and extent of damage caused to the skull and brain.

RESULTS

The pellet successfully penetrated the skull of all 13 heads shot at full or intermediate power and 1 of the 2 heads shot at half power. The pellet did not fragment after entering the skull of any cadaver and penetrated the brainstem (necessary for instantaneous death) in only 7 cadavers.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The described technique was insufficient for use as a stand-alone method for euthanizing young dairy goat kids. Modification of the technique warrants further research to determine whether air pistols can be used to effectively euthanize young goat kids.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To validate the effectiveness of a penetrating captive bolt device with a built-in low-pressure air channel pithing mechanism (PCBD) as a 1-step method for euthanasia of cattle.

DESIGN Clinical trial.

ANIMALS 66 feedlot steers and heifers (weight, 227 to 500 kg [500 to 1,100 lb]) that were not expected to survive or finish the feeding period with their cohorts.

PROCEDURES Cattle were transported to a university facility and euthanized with the PCBD. For each calf, clinical variables were monitored and recorded immediately before and for at least 10 minutes after application of the PCBD. Following euthanasia, the head of each calf was removed and trauma to the brain and skull was assessed and scored.

RESULTS Death was successfully achieved with the PCBD without application of an ancillary technique in all 66 cattle; however, 4 (6%) cattle required a second or third shot from the PCBD because of technical errors in its placement. All shots from the PCBD that entered the cranial vault successfully rendered cattle unconscious without a return to sensibility.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that the PCBD was an effective 1-step method of euthanasia for use in mass depopulation of feedlot cattle.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether ultrasound could be used to measure sole horn thickness in dairy cattle after claw trimming with an adaptation of the Dutch method.

Design—Case series.

Animals—24 adult Holstein dairy cows.

Procedure—Cows were restrained in a standing position, and claws were trimmed with an adaptation of the Dutch trimming method. B-mode ultrasonography was then performed. The transducer was placed on the sole just caudal to the apex of the toe and immediately medial and parallel to the abaxial white zone. The inner margin of the sole was identified as a thin hyperechoic line. Soles were considered to be too thin if sole horn thickness, determined by use of ultrasonography, was < 5 mm.

Results—Sole horn, underlying soft tissues, and the distal surface of the third phalanx were imaged in 151 claws. The inner margin of the sole could not be identified in 4 claws, and 37 claws could not be imaged because cows collapsed in the restraining chute. Mean ± SD sole thickness for all claws was 7.1 ± 1.3 mm. Only 1 sole was < 5 mm thick. The lateral front claws were significantly thicker than the medial hind claws.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that ultrasound imaging can be used to determine sole thickness in dairy cattle after routine claw trimming. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:492–494)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare milk yield among cows classified as nonlame, moderately lame, and lame and to examine the relationship between severity of lameness and milk yield in cows classified as lame during the first 100 days after parturition.

Design—Longitudinal study.

Animals—465 Holstein cows.

Procedure—Cows were examined weekly during the first 100 days after parturition and assigned a lameness score by use of a 6-point locomotion scoring system (ie, 0 to 5). Milk yield was compared among cows classified as nonlame, moderately lame, and lame. Among cows classified as lame (locomotion score ≥ 4), milk yield was compared for cows with low, medium, and high cumulative locomotion scores. Cows classified as lame were further examined on a tilt table for diagnosis and treatment of lameness.

Results—84 (18%), 212 (46%), and 169 (36%) cows were classified as nonlame, moderately lame, and lame, respectively. Among cows in their second or later lactations, milk yield in lame cows was significantly lower than that in moderately lame and nonlame cows. In addition, among cows classified as lame, milk yield was significantly lower in cows with high locomotion scores during the first 100 days after parturition, compared with cows with low scores. Most (58%) cows classified as lame had laminitis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate a linear relationship between increasing degree of lameness and decreasing milk yield among cows in their second or later lactations. The locomotion scoring system used in this study may be a useful management tool that veterinarians and dairy farmers could adopt for early detection of lameness in dairy cows. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:1292–1296)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To assess the efficacy of prophylactic hoof health examination and trimming during midlactation at reducing the incidence of lameness during late lactation in dairy cows.

Design—Randomized field trial.

Animals—333 Holstein cows.

Procedures—Cows without apparent lameness were randomly allocated into 1 of 2 groups approximately 204 days after calving. Cows allocated to the treatment group (n = 161) were examined on a tilt table for diagnosis and underwent hoof-trimming procedures, if needed, for treatment of hoof disorders or lesions. Cows in the control group (n = 172) were not examined. Cows were assigned a locomotion score weekly for 28 weeks after allocation to a group. The number of cows classified as lame during late lactation (approx 205 to 400 days after calving) was compared between groups to assess the efficacy of prophylactic examination and trimming.

Results—Incidence of lameness during late lactation was 24% in cows in the control group and 18% in cows in the treatment group.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The 25% decrease in number of new cases of lameness in cows undergoing prophylactic hoof health examination and trimming during midlactation may be relevant for the well-being of dairy cows and should not represent a major economic burden to producers.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare calving-to-conception intervals among cows classified as nonlame, moderately lame, or lame during the prebreeding postpartum period and to examine the relationship between severity of lameness and time to conception in cows that were classified as lame.

Design—Longitudinal study.

Animals—499 Holstein cows.

Procedure—Cows in the prebreeding postpartum period were classified as nonlame, moderately lame, or lame by use of a 6-point locomotion scoring system. Time to conception (days) was compared among cows. A low, medium, or high cumulative locomotion score was assigned to lame cows, and time to conception among those cows was compared. Cows classified as lame were examined on a tilt table for diagnosis and treatment of lameness.

Results—154 (31%), 214 (43%), and 131 (26%) cows were classified as nonlame, moderately lame, and lame, respectively. Most cows classified as lame had laminitis (54%) or disorders of the claw (33%). Median time to conception was 36 to 50 days longer in lame cows than in nonlame cows. Among lame cows, the median time to conception was 66 days longer in cows with high cumulative locomotion scores than in cows with low scores.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Nonlame cows became pregnant more quickly than lame cows. Lame cows with low cumulative locomotion scores during the prebreeding postpartum period became pregnant sooner than lame cows with high scores. Early diagnosis and intervention may mitigate the effects of lameness and improve reproductive performance in lame dairy cows. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:1284–1291)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association