Kansas State University Veterinarians Discuss Importance of Hoof Trimming

By Trish Svoboda

Kansas State University veterinarians at the Beef Cattle Institute suggest that some beef cattle require occasional hoof trimming to prevent lameness. On a recent Cattle Chat podcast, the veterinarians addressed a listener’s query regarding the necessity of regular hoof trims for herd animals.

According to K-State veterinarian Brian Lubbers, while cows in typical beef cattle operations naturally wear down their hooves through movement, older cows with less activity may need trimming. Lubbers considers it normal if around 2% of the herd requires routine hoof trims annually, but a higher percentage could indicate underlying issues.

K-State veterinarian Bob Larson suggests that excess hoof growth could be linked to diet, especially a high-grain diet causing acidosis, which can lead to hoof problems. In addition, certain minerals are necessary for healthy hoof growth.

Genetics can also influence hoof growth, notes K-State veterinarian Brad White, citing corkscrew claw as an example. Environmental factors, such as mud and sharp objects, can contribute to hoof issues, including foot rot and abscesses.

In the event of a hoof issue, the veterinarians stress the importance of consulting a veterinarian for a thorough examination and appropriate treatment.

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