Associations between locomotion, claw lesions and nociceptive threshold in dairy heifers during the peri-partum period

By Waterman, A. E. and WEBSTER, A.J.F. and Whay, H. R., Veterinary Journal, 1997
Research Paper Web Link / URL:
The locomotion of 15 heifers was examined at fortnightly intervals over a 4 month peri-partum period. Measurements were made of the development of gait abnormalities, thermal and mechanical nociceptive thresholds, and severity and size of sole lesions observed in the hind claws. All heifers developed lesions at, or shortly after, parturition, and in seven animals this induced marked lameness. Abnormalities of gait were related more to the severity than to the size of the lesion. Lameness was associated with a significant increase in sensitivity to mechanical noxious stimuli applied to the lame leg but not to a thermal stimulus applied to the ear. This study demonstrated interactions between lameness, claw lesions and the development of hyperalgesia in heifers during the post-partum period.
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