Functional claw trimming improves the gait and locomotion of sows

A. K. Tinkle, K. J. Duberstein, M. E. Wilson, M. A. Parsley, M. K. Beckman, J. Torrison, M. J. Azain, C. R. Dove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Within the swine industry, lameness is one of the leading causes of culling and euthanasia of sows. Lameness negatively affects sow productivity and reproduction, both of which are major factors leading to culling sows. Claw lesions are one of the leading causes of sow lameness, specifically caused by overgrown claws or dewclaws. The objective of this study was to discern the difference in sow gait, pre- and post-functional trimming. In this study, 52 sows were functionally trimmed to a claw length of 5.5 cm from the coronary band, and were videotaped using two high-speed cameras at three time points: pre trim (PRE), one hour post (POST1) and 48 h post (POST48) trimming. Videos were analyzed to measure the following spatiotemporal values: stance duration, swing duration, stride duration, stride length, limb velocity, breakover duration, and duration of three-limb support phases. Sows showed significant improvement in gait from PRE to POST48 in response to claw trimming including a decrease in swing and stride duration, decreased breakover, and increased swing:stance ratio, and velocity (P<0.05). These changes signify more forward movement, which may indicate increased efficiency of gait following claw-trimming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-57
Number of pages5
JournalLivestock Science
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


  • Functional trimming
  • Gait analysis
  • Lameness
  • Sow


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