April 15, 2020

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is — the potential for hoof injuries and infections exists in all types of environments. Producers’ “beef” with this is understandable. Treatment is time-consuming and costly and, in some cases, foot issues lead to an animal’s disposal. When dealing with foot-related problems, it is critical for producers to understand the full spectrum of issues that can lead to lameness. This spectrum can include nutritional insults, physical damage, infectious agents, genetic influence and structural makeup. 

Traditionally, ranchers have been the most interested in the potential for nutritional insults or foot rot when dealing with lameness. However, in 2018, the American Angus Association released research EPDs addressing claw set and foot angle, demonstrating the need for genetic evaluation in an area where producers have probable cause for concern.

It is hard to problem-solve systematically with such a spectrum of issues that can impact foot quality. Diagnosing specific problems can provide important clues as to what is going on, allowing us to make better decisions when addressing the i