Wet, muddy conditions increase danger of livestock lameness

The North Coast Local Land Services vet team is seeing high rates of lameness in flood impacted livestock.

Vet Jocelyn Todd said lameness was a major issue in all classes of livestock because of the widespread ongoing wet and muddy conditions.

“Prolonged moisture exposure softens the hooves and the skin of the lower leg, making bruising and penetration injuries more prevalent in hooves, as well as making the skin and hoof tissue less resistant to infections,” Dr Todd said.

Higher bacterial loads present in wet muddy conditions and larger stones that are exposed when topsoil is washed from yards contributed to the increased incidence of lameness.

What can farmers do for their cattle?

To decrease the risk of feet issues, farmers can minimise the distances cattle have to walk, repair track and yard surfaces and make sure that feed rations have adequate fibre content.

For more information about livestock diseases following the floods, contact either your vet or North Coast Local Land Services on 1300 795 299.

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