During a spell of wet weather recently, a cow showed up lame with no signs of trauma or foreign body, in her back right hoof.
Slightly below her pasterns her foot appeared red, swollen and hot. We assumed that this would be a case of interdigital dermatitis (ID). This is when bacteria invade the claw and reproduce, causing infection in the claw.
In this instance, the case had not progressed to a stage where manual intervention and debriding of the hoof was required - it was the start of something which could be stopped with a few quick treatments. In more advanced cases, restraining the cow and taking away some of the claw may be necessary.
We first sprayed the hoof with water to clean it all off, then allowed it to dry for a little while before spraying it with Animedazon spray; this is an antibiotic spray that contains chlortetracycline (a specific antibiotic) that is known for targeting and destroying the type of bacteria that causes ID.
She was also given an intramuscular injection of a general antibiotic that aims to prevent any systemic infection and serves her well while she recovers.
After 3 days of being kept indoors at night, the lameness had disappeared.
Unfortunately, I didn't manage to take any photos of this specific case.
But keep in mind that situations like these are much better treated earlier on than when they get into their late stages. So keep an eye out for lame cattle!