Herd- and cow-level prevalence of foot lesions in ontario dairy cattle

G. Cramer, K. D. Lissemore, C. L. Guard, K. E. Leslie, D. F. Kelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


The objectives of this cross-sectional study were to determine herd-level and cow-level prevalence estimates for 11 foot lesions in Ontario dairy cattle. Foot lesions were recorded by 5 hoof trimmers on 13,530 cows in 204 Ontario dairy herds from March 2004 to May 2005. Significant differences existed between free-stall and tie-stall housing. In free-stall housing systems, 46.4% of cows had a foot lesion, compared with 25.7% of cows in tie-stall barns. Digital dermatitis was the most common lesion in tie stalls, occurring in 9.3% of cows and 69.7% of the herds, whereas in free-stall herds, 22.7% of cows and 96.7% of the herds were affected. The most common hoof horn lesions were hemorrhages and ulcers, at 7.7 and 4.7% in tie-stall housing and 11.0 and 9.2% in free-stall housing, respectively. Foot blocks were used to treat 2.2% of cows in free stalls and 0.3% in tie stalls. Intraclass correlation coefficients ranged from 9.5 to 17.3 for hoof horn lesions and 28.0 to 38.7 for infectious lesions. In summary, foot lesions diagnosed at the time of hoof trimming are common in Ontario, and appropriate treatment for hoof horn lesions is low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3888-3895
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this project was provided by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada), American Association of Bovine Practitioners (Auburn, AL), Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food , and Rural Affairs (Guelph, Ontario, Canada), Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), and the Hoof Trimmers Association (Missoula, MT). We are grateful for the assistance provided by the participating hoof trimmers and Janyk Laferrière.


  • Foot lesion
  • Free stall
  • Prevalence
  • Tie stall


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