NJB Hoofcare Sole Ulcers for Exmoor, Somerset
Sole ulceration is one of the most debilitating, costly and common causes of lameness affecting beef and dairy cattle. Ulcers may occur in the typical site, beneath the flexor tuberosity of the third phalanx (sole ulcer), in the heel (heel ulcer) and in the toe (toe ulcer) depending on the location of the incursion. Sole ulcers are often associated with trauma from stone bruises for instance, and can cause severe mobility problems in dairy cattle. Sole ulcers can also be related to bleeding associated with sole bruising.
Sole ulcers commonly affect one or both of the outer hindclaws, particularly in bigger, high-yielding dairy cattle kept under conditions where cow comfort is poor. Where both hind feet are affected the symptoms may be masked. Vigilance is an important factor in spotting the effects early, and regular mobility monitoring can help in this. Sole ulcers are also common in dairy herds occupying loose-housing systems with poor hygiene conditions.