There are various methods used for foot trimming but the most widely accepted method which has been most thoroughly researched is the (Dutch) Five Step Method.
- Trim inside hind claw /outside front claw to the correct length. Remove excess sole at the toe to leave at least 6mm sole depth, sparing the heel and wall. Correct length will vary by age, breed, previous disease, and to some degree size of animal. For mature Holstein-Freisians this could be 75-90mm toe length measured from where the wall goes hard at the top of the claw, exact length depending on the above factors.
- Match the other claw to the correct toe length by bringing toes up together in line. Balance the claws, but not at all costs. Some breeds and cows with disease may require slightly unbalanced heels
- Model (dish) out the sole ulcer site. The extent of this will vary with conditions
- Alleviate weight-bearing from a painful claw. Applying a block to the sound claw is the most effective way of achieving this. Trimming down the back 2/3rds of the outside hind claw/inside front claw will help.
- Remove loose horn, especially around painful lesions and in the back 2/3rds of the outside hind claw/inside front claw. Most innocuous lesions should be left, especially in the toe region.