Photo Caption: Walkease after 6wks on a dry cow.
Hoofcare and treatment of cattle lameness continues to be a major priority for farmers worldwide.  Both issues are particularly significant and challenging as cattle lameness leads to decreased feed intake, lower milk production, reduced bulling activity, weight loss and ultimately culling if left untreated.

“Lameness is a major financial loss on many dairy farms,” explains Gordon Campbell, Dairying Development Advisor (CAFÉ), in his ‘Lameness prevention on dairy farms’ article.  “From farm survey data in a 100 cow dairy herd, on average 16 cows are affected by lameness per year.  This costs almost £4,000 in treatment, reduced production and delayed calving intervals.”

The introduction of an early intervention treatment system which can be used quickly and easily by the farmer, is already receiving great interest around the world.  Walkease hoof blocks have been designed as a temporary support to aide the natural recovery of the hoof before serious lameness occurs.

Peter Griffiths, product development manager at Shoof International Ltd and inventor of this innovative hoofcare system explains, “If you have a cow going lame then you can put the Walkease on early and the chances are the hoof will heal by itself.  If the injury becomes more serious then you would certainly need to move to a more comprehensive hoof treatment system.”

The Walkease hoof blocks are made from ethylene vinyl acetate, otherwise known as EVA.  This provides shock absorbency which takes the strain away from the cow’s joints and muscles.   However, the biggest advantage for farmers is the low cost and ease of application.

“We wanted a block that would be easy for farmers to fit themselves, as early as possible before needing professional help,” says Griffiths.  “With Walkease you simply flatten the hoof to get a clean and dry surface, using the special rasp provided in the kit, and then apply the block using the special Walkease one-step glue.”

Prevention and early intervention of cattle lameness is of vital importance for famers and their animals.  Having a low cost, easy-to-use hoof care product, that can be used at the first sign of a sore hoof (pre-lameness), is certainly good news for farmers and good news for their cows.