Feed Lot

SEP-OCT 2017

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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By JILL J. DUNKEL 6 FEED•LOT  September/October 2017 Although it may not get as much publicity as respiratory disease, feedlot lameness can take the prof- it out of a calf quickly if not treated appropriately. In fact, it is estimat- ed that 70% of all railers were culled due to lameness. Lame feed- lot cattle that recover grow slower than others, and need additional time to reach slaughter weight compared to their pen mates. One underdiagnosed ailment, ac- cording to A.J. Tarpoff, DVM, Exten- sion Veterinarian with Kansas State University, is toe abscesses. Also known as toe tip necrosis or P3 (third Phalangeal bone) necrosis, toe abscesses can occur on any foot but are more common on rear feet. Abrasive damage to the toe tip can damage the white line, opening the claw to bacteria, dirt and ma- nure. Dale Miskimins, DVM, South Dakota State University, reported animals may be moderately to se- verely lame, depending on the ex- tent of the infection into the sensi- tive tissues of the foot. "Untreated cattle may develop joint infections and as- cending leg infections, which significantly lim- its productivity and the likelihood of recovery," he said. Initially cattle may ap- pear stiff and show signs of shifting lameness, Tarpoff said. With little to no signs of swelling, the source of the lameness can be difficult to pinpoint. Often actual inspection of the foot is necessary to discover the problem. Hands On Treatment "Know what you're dealing with," said C.A. Owen, DVM, who practices in Winner, South Dakota, and works with backgrounding yards. He said don't assume it's foot rot and just give antibiotics. That could allow a condition to progress further, to the point an animal may not be helped or salvaged. If it's a toe abscess, ad- ditional treatment is necessary. "Put the calf in the chute and use a rope to tie up the foot. Find out what toe is affected with hoof testers. If it's bad enough, you can see the separation between the sole and the hoof wall. Sometimes the feet will be pancake flat – so ground off, it looks like you hit them with a belt sander." Miskimins said it's important that those treating a toe abscess know what they are doing. "They need training. They need to under- stand the anatomy of the foot. Peo- ple can cause more damage if they don't know what they are doing." Training programs are available. Miskimins recommended the Hoof Trimmers Association website (www.hooftrimmers.org/) as well as schools by Karl Burgi (karl burgi.com) to teach owners, han- dlers and hospital crews proper FEEDLOT FOCUS Understanding TOE ABSCESSES S outh Dakota State University photo Specializing In: • Turn-Key Feedyard Construction • Hog Site Construction • Complete Dairy Construction • Sprinkler System • CAD Design • GPS Survey • Slipform Concrete Feedbunks • Dirtwork of All Types • Laser-Equipped Machinery • All types of Fencing Phone: 800-536-2634 maxjantzexcavating.com

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