While Rosie and Clarabelle look fine in the photo below, with Rosie chewing her cud and Clarabelle just finishing up her morning breakfast, things aren't 'Rosy.' She's hurting. Her front hooves are very tender as she has what is called hoof rot. It sounds nasty, doesn't it? It is a foot infection between her two 'toes.' It is painful and she walks around gingerly. As we've discussed previously, this is caused by bacteria in the soil called Fusobacterium. This bacteria is present wherever there is fecal material and the cows usually pick this up around the round bales where wet, muddy, cow-poop is concentrated. The cows usually pick this up in the Spring, but oddly enough, hot, humid, dry weather causes their feet to become dry and crack, providing a gateway for the bacteria to enter the foot.
Because we don't like to give our cows antibiotics by shot, we try numerous treatments like iodine applications. We also put a 50-50 solution of bleach/water in a sprayer and spray the infected area. We've done this daily and had varied levels of success in controlling the problem.
|My feet hurt!|
|Treating Hoof Rot|
I began searching on the Internet and found another remedy to try - Dr. Naylor's Hoof 'n Heel. We use another product by Dr. Naylor to dehorn our calves. It's called Dr. Naylor's Dehorning Paste. It works, so I though I'd give this Dr. Naylor product for treating hoof rot a try. A 16 ounce bottle costs $11.99.
|Dr. Naylor Hoof 'n Heel|
The active ingredient is Zinc Sulfate and there is no withholding period for lactating cows. The bottle has a squirt top, so after the hoof is brushed off an clean, I hold each hoof up and Tricia squirts Hoof 'n Heel into the affected area. I hold the hoof up so that the solution gets full contact with the affected area and then we feed and milk her in the barn on a clean surface before putting her back out in the pasture to eat grass. We treat her twice a day - in the morning and evening. We've noticed great results and after only a few days, she's no longer limping or walking gingerly!
|My foot is getting better!|
There is another remedy for Foot Rot called Coppertox that we were going to use if this didn't work, but we won't have to go that route now. We're happy and I assure you, Rosie is too!