The effects of early treatment for hindlimb lameness in dairy cows on four commercial UK farms

K. A. Leach*, D. A. Tisdall, N. J. Bell, D. C.J. Main, L. E. Green

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


An 'early threshold' protocol for treating cows within 48. h of being detected lame in one or more hind limbs at fortnightly mobility scoring was tested on a randomly selected group of cattle on four commercial dairy farms. The outcomes of the early threshold treatment for first cases of lameness were compared with those of the farmers' conventional approach to treatment. The early threshold schedule resulted in a much shorter time to treatment than the conventional approach, for which the median time from the cow first being scored lame to treatment was 65. days. The early threshold group presented with less severe foot lesions and cattle were less likely to be selected for further treatments by the farmer than conventionally treated cows. Early threshold treatment reduced the prevalence of lameness 4. weeks after treatment, compared with controls. A clear effect of the early treatment on milk yield was not detected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-632
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was funded by the Dartington Cattle Breeders Trust and supported by the Tubney Charitable Trust. The co-operation of the participating farmers and their staff is gratefully acknowledged. Seamus Gilheany of NMR and Sam Mason from the University of Warwick provided valuable assistance with data handling.


  • Dairy cattle
  • Lameness
  • Milk yield
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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