Zinpro Corporation announces the debut episode of Experts Talk, an all-new online lameness prevention video series. The inaugural episode features Dr. Dörte Döpfer, associate professor at the University of Wisconsin – School of Veterinary Medicine, one of the world’s most recognized experts on digital dermatitis. This common infectious claw disease in cattle, also known as hairy heel warts, can produce painful (acute) skin lesions and lead to lameness.
In this episode, Dr. Döpfer discusses her team’s recent research on nutritional strategies for the prevention and control of digital dermatitis in pre-calving heifers. Dr. Döpfer’s interest in alternative methods to footbaths to help prevent and control digital dermatitis led her research group to evaluate the potential effectiveness of a nutritional strategy that provides protection against this highly prevalent and costly disease.
According to Dr. Döpfer, results of the first study (experimental infection trial) indicated a trend for decreased size of digital dermatitis lesions, as well as a trend toward fewer painful/acute lesions, which are classified as “M2” lesions. Results from the second study (large commercial Midwest dairy trial) showed a significant decrease in the prevalence of digital dermatitis lesions in dairy replacement heifers before first calving.
Dr. Döpfer said this new research may influence management philosophies in the future, and she highlighted the importance of getting dairy replacement heifers off to a healthy start. “I think we are drawing increasing attention to these pre-calving heifers that are currently really not watched over well when it comes to improving claw health. So if we could focus on their well-being and health as an investment for their first lactation, and make them come into the first lactation even healthier in terms of claw diseases, that would be beneficial for their productive lives.”
She prescribed an integrated prevention and control strategy for infectious claw diseases that comes as early as calf age and continues during all lifetime phases of a cow.
The new Experts Talk online video series, sponsored by Zinpro Corporation, features one-on-one discussions with leading authorities on foot health and lameness prevention in multiple species. Topics to be discussed will range from lameness detection, to treating claw lesions that cause lameness, to best management practices for lameness prevention. A different expert will be featured in each episode as the series unfolds. To learn more, visit the Experts Talk video library on www.zinpro.com.