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Claw disorders in dairy cattle – an unexpected association between energy metabolism and sole haemorrhages

  • Katrin Wilhelm (a1), Jürgen Wilhelm (a1) and Manfred Fürll (a2)


The present study investigated whether changes of energy metabolism post-partum (pp) are associated with claw health. For this purpose, back-fat-thickness (BFT) was measured and blood samples were taken from 146 cows at four examination times. The serum levels of free fatty acids (FFA), ß-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and glucose were measured. Furthermore, in the first week postpartum (pp) and at 8 weeks pp, a claw trimming was done and the presence and extent of sole haemorrhages (SH) was recorded. Animals with high BFT at calving and therefore high fat mobilisation and whose FFA and BHB levels in the first week pp exceeded the reference values had fewer pathological changes of the claws than thinner animals whose FFA and BHB levels stayed within reference ranges. The body condition before calving, represented in this study by BFT, plays an important role in non-infectious claw disorders. Poorer body condition was found to be associated with the SH that develop in the first 2 months of lactation.


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Claw disorders in dairy cattle – an unexpected association between energy metabolism and sole haemorrhages

  • Katrin Wilhelm (a1), Jürgen Wilhelm (a1) and Manfred Fürll (a2)


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