To compare the degree of white line separation created by increasing physiologic loads between bovine claws with and without toe-tip necrosis (TTN).
Cadaveric bovine hind limbs with (n = 10) and without (10) TTN.
Hind limbs in which 1 or both claws had evidence of apical white line separation were considered to have TTN. Hind limbs in which neither claw had evidence of white line separation were considered controls. Each hind limb was mounted in a materials testing system with the bottom surface of the hoof angled at approximately 5° to the horizontal plane such that the apex of the claws made initial contact with the clear testing surface to simulate physiologic loading conditions. A digital camera mounted underneath the testing surface was used to obtain images of the bottom of the hoof during the application of each of 3 increasing static loads (1, 2, and 3 kN). The images were analyzed with commercial image-processing software to quantify white line separation area.
White line separation area was significantly greater for claws with TTN than for control claws and increased as the applied load increased. White line separation was almost nonexistent in control claws and was not affected by increasing load.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results suggested that mechanical loading exacerbated TTN, but compressive loading alone, even at excessive levels, did not initiate the condition. Interventions (eg, hoof blocks) that decrease loading of affected claws may be beneficial for the treatment of TTN at its earliest stages.