Recording foot lesions

Recording lesions causing lameness

Recording must have a purpose and must be sufficient to meet that purpose (and arguably no more). For most producers, recording lesions causing lameness is a means of diagnosing issues at the herd level as well as aiding management of recurrent cases. Most people would advocate a focus on the most common lesions for herd level diagnosis but details may be needed for individual cow management.

In the UK the most common lesions are:

Description Picture
1. Sole bruising/haemorrhage (often erroneously recorded as laminitis) SBcropped
2. Over-growth (some may rightly argue this is not a lesion)
3. Sole ulcers (separate from heel ulcers) SUcropped
4. White line lesions (necrotic wall ulcers recorded separately) WLcropped
5. Digital dermatitis (ulcerated and warty forms) 3
6. Foul/Foot rot (Interdigital phlegmon) 4

In some situations it may be useful to record lesions not associated with lameness, but only if this is to be analysed in some way. The main disorders recorded in this way are:

  • All forms and severity of digital dermatitis lesion, regardless of whether it is a cause of lameness
  • Heel horn erosion (marker of hygiene underfoot)
  • Interdigital hyperplasia (risk of lameness)
  • Sole bruising/haemorrhage – focal or diffuse (indicated general trauma)
  • Hock swelling/ulceration

Scoring and recording guides (for standardisation)

To improve recording systems, International standards of recording have been proposed by ICAR.

Recording templates

Professional foot trimming sheet (upload)

Farmer foot trimming sheet (upload)