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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Whether a system uses the best type of bedding available, with the most comfortable mats and cushioned barriers, chances are the cows will still present with sores/rubbing marks on the hind legs. In particular these are usually on the outside or inside of the hock, the top of the pins and occasionally on the hooks.

In most cases these sores present with hairless areas of skin often irritated by the bedding material, becoming red, inflamed and sore.
This can be problematic when milking because it means if you accidently brush past the leg of a cow, it could result in a nasty kick to the stockman or an unpleasant outburst from the cow. In addition to this, if the sore persists it may lead to infection or abscess formation – ultimately leading to lameness.

First of all it is important to mention how to prevent these sores from occurring; ensuring that all beds are dry, clean and evenly bedded are easy ways to keep these sores at bay. Ideally, in the winter the beds want to be cleaned off twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening. Any structures that stick out from yard, doorways or sheds are often the cause of sores on the hooks and pins – by covering these in cushioned material it can help to prevent some cases.

But even in the most protective of circumstances, these sores will still manage to effect cows – usually older cows that struggle to get up and down from the beds, or lame cows that have the same trouble. So what’s the best way to treat them? 

The first thing to do is to assess the severity of the sore; this is necessary because small, minor sores will often heal quickly on their own. As a general rule, if there is pus, scab, inflammation or bleeding, it needs to be treated. If there are none of these symptoms then treatment is not usually necessary. To treat the sores apply Animedazon™ spray to the affected area and within 48 hours the sore has usually healed back to normal uninflamed skin. 

(Animedazon is an anti-biotic spray that is effective against chlortetracycline-susceptible organisms. As well as keeping infection at bay it is also good at keeping the wound clean and dry, helping the skin to heal).


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