The role of the veterinarian in reducing lameness levels has been discussed at recent conferences such as at the Cattle Lameness Conference 2015 and International Lameness Conference 2013, in Bristol. It has been suggested that not only has the size and shape of farms altered but so have the roles and responsibilities of farm owners, workers as well as vets and other contractors (Alcock, 2015).
Alcock (2015) suggests that in order to maximise vet involvement in improving lameness control his practice are trying to find as many different ways to engage their farm clients. The principal ways in which they are doing so include providing a complete mobility monitoring and foot trimming service, farmer training and increasing vet enthusiasm and competence in foot care.
Whay et al (2013) reported that the identification of lameness and the subsequent prompt delivery of treatment to lame cows appear to be problematic.
Provita are now launching the Hoofsure HELP service which is designed to help farmers reduce lameness and improve herd mobility. It will provide veterinarians and their dairy farm clients with a complete picture of lameness and digital dermatitis on their farm. For clients using or wishing to use the Hoofsure Endurance footbath solution a member of the Provita team, fully trained by industry experts, will carry out an on-farm lameness and or digital dermatitis assessment using the new Provita Digital Dermatitis App. This App has been developed in conjunction with Vetimpress, see image. Additionally hoof trimming events can be recorded by the veterinarian or farmer. Entry of the data is quick and accurate, and an instant report is generated which can be emailed or printed for discussion to allow earlier intervention. Earlier intervention on lame cows will increase the success rate of recovery. These assessments can be done at regular agreed monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly intervals. The dairy farm client can then use this information to identify underperforming cows, repeat chronic cases and cows which can be classed as do not breed from. This service can also be used to monitor how individual cows respond to treatments and how the overall herd responds to a recommended footbathing plan.
Following on from the first assessment, a recommended hoofcare programme is designed specifically for farms with regular reviews and assessments to monitor progress and return on investment. Provita can provide a wide range of footbathing technologies to make the footbath filling and emptying process easy and convenient, including semi-automated filling systems. Farmers are also trained to ensure they use the Hoofsure Endurance solution at the correct depth and dilution rate.
Provita will demonstrate the system at the AVSPNI conference. For more information on the Hoofsure HELP service, Digital Dermatitis App or to arrange an on-farm demonstration at one of your clients call Tommy Armstrong on 07720101444.