New Hoofsure HELP service to reduce lameness

Provita are currently providing a new service designed to help farmers reduce Digital Dermatitis related lameness. An initial, no obligation, on farm assessment and a Digital Dermatitis check will be carried out by a fully trained member of our team. A tailored plan for complete herd control and individual cows will then be recommended. If the farmer adopts this plan, a one month call back visit is arranged and the progress will be checked. After this, the plan can be maintained, increased or decreased depending on results. Once our team and the farmer are confident that the routine is working progress will be monitored on bi monthly or quarterly visits.

“We have been piloting this service in Northern Ireland recently and so far this approach to controlling Digital Dermatitis related lameness has been very popular. In order to ensure that everyone who signs up for the HELP service receives the best attention possible, we have a new farm sales person on board, Kieran Donnelly”, commented Provita’s Tommy Armstrong.

One such farmer who is now on the HELP service is Philip Toner from Markethill who runs 300 dairy cows along with poultry, sheep and beef enterprises. Philip has recognised how the HELP programme is beneficial to his farm.

“Over this summer we had cut back our footbath control measures and Digital Dermatitis gradually got worse. When I was approached by Provita with the Hoofsure HELP service I decided to give it a go as it was only a one month commitment initially.”

The initial inspection on Philip’s farm showed that 65% of the milking herd had Digital Dermatitis, and 20% of the herd had active Digital Dermatitis. The cost of which, in terms of milk loss alone amounted to £900 per month. If fertility, body condition and other associated hoof problems were accounted for, the cost would be much higher.

Philip Toner was well aware of the implications which lameness could have on his farm. In order to ensure his farm thrives in the future, Philip decided to implement the protocol given to him.

Philip had previously used Hoofsure Endurance solution in his footbath at the standard protocol. However this was not suitable at that time for the level of risk on his farm. In order to ensure that the same problem doesn’t happen again his, and each HELP protocol is unique and will depend on the level of risk on each individual farm. For Philip Toner’s farm, he selected a combination of footbathing and spot spraying with Hoofsure Enurance and wrapping with Konquest gel. The footbathing was chosen as an overall preventative measure, something which is needed to control Digital Dermatitis. The spot spraying was chosen as an aggressive approach, to ensure a more rapid response. In severe cases wrapping with Konquest was chosen.

As Philip does his own cows feet, he can check the progress on an ongoing basis and has seen a dramatic improvement within the month. This was confirmed by Provita on the monthly recheck visit.

“When I went back to Philip’s farm after a month, 95% of the overall active Digital Dermatitis had changed from active white/red to inactive brown/black”. Tommy attributed this significant result to Philip’s strict adherence to his Hoofsure HELP protocol. If this commitment to the guidelines given to him at each visit continues, the lameness problem on his farm will continue to be controlled and will reduce over time.

Philip Toner is dedicated to providing the most suitable measures to prevent lameness in his herd. He has already seen the benefits of following his HELP plan.

“I had used Hoofsure Endurance before at a standard rate but hadn’t used any other treatments along with it. This time when used at the stronger rate and combined with spot spraying and Konquest gel, I have been very pleased with the results. I am also using it in the heifer and dry cow groups”.