Merial Animal Health has launched ClearStride, a range of hoof care products to help improve hoof health and mobility in dairy cattle. The range includes three products; a hoof bath, hoof spray and topical gel, which were unveiled to dairy farmers at UK Dairy Day on the 14th of September at Telford International Centre.
Merial Animal Health’s Veterinary Adviser Sioned Timothy says: “Up to fifty percent of dairy cows in a herd may experience mobility problems in any 12-month period, with lameness and poor mobility impacting significantly on the health and productivity of the herd. Initial costs of lameness have been estimated at £323 per case and lame animals may also experience reduced dry matter intake, reduced milk yield and reduced fertility. Ultimately, poor mobility and lameness incidences increase the likelihood of a shortened productive life within the herd.”
Making simple changes to herd management practices can greatly improve the situation and help reduce the incidence of lameness on-farm. These changes include implementing a pro-active hoof trimming strategy, ensuring a high standard of cow comfort and monitoring cattle regularly to identify lame cows early and ensure that they are promptly and appropriately treated.
Regular foot bathing with an effective and safe disinfectant solution can help to promote hoof health and may help to reduce the incidence of infectious lameness, such as digital dermatitis. Routine foot trimming and examination can help keep claws in good shape and increase the chance of identifying digital dermatitis lesions early in the course of the disease.
Developing a hoof health plan with veterinary input is key to optimising lameness control. This plan should be practical and simple to implement, and take into account farm level risk factors and management practices.
The ClearStride range includes a hoof bath, ideal for routine use after milking; a hoof spray, which can be applied with a low pressure sprayer to individuals or groups of cattle; and a topical gel with super stickability for use on individual animals post-trimming and on existing foot lesions. The gel remains active even after contact with manure.
The flexibility of the ClearStride range means that the products can be used in maintenance programs as well as on cows with evident lesions. A range of pack sizes make regular use more economical.