Hoof Health Photo Gallery

An image gallery of normal and abnormal bovine (dairy) hooves.
Hoof Health Photo Gallery - Articles


Lateral view of a bovine claw

This is a lateral view of the claw of a dairy cow. A hardship groove is evident in the hoof wall, approximately 2/3 of the way from the coronary band to the tip of the toe. A small mark has been placed at the correct length for the front hoof wall.
This image is of a P3 bone situated inside the claw capsule in approximately the anatomically-correct location. The insensitive laminae are visible on the claw capsule.
This is a P3 bone (the last bone in the digit) from a bovine.
This infection initially occured in the white line (zone 3) on the bottom of the claw. It has worked its way up the inside of the claw capsule before breaking out at the coronary band. Treatment involves removal of all infected tissue and placing a block on the opposite claw.
An ascending infection in the white line is being cleaned out in order to remove infected/unhealthy tissue so that healing can begin. More trimming remains to be done. Note that a block has not yet been placed on the opposite claw.
This white line infection has been trimmed back to the point where all of the unhealthy/infected tissue has been removed. The red tissue seen in the image is health corium, which can now produce new tissue to cover the defect. Note that a block has been placed on the opposite claw to remove the weight from the affected claw, thereby promoting healing.
This sole ulcer is in the 'typical' location (zone 4), at the posterior part of the P3 bone. A wooden block has been placed on the opposite (healthy) claw to remove the weight from the affected claw to permit the corium to produce new, healthy sole tissue. The cow is restrained on her side in a
A mirror and headlamp can be used to score digital dermatitis lesions in the parlor. Washing the feet with water may be useful to better visualize the heels.
This cross-section demonstrates overgrowth of the toe (A), with a relatively normal thickness of the sole at the heel. Note the obvious digital cushion (fat pad) and the distance that the P3 bone is from the solar corium.
This is the same claw as the previous image. The toe and sole has been trimmed to the appropriate length and thickness. The sole at the heel (B) has not had any significant amount of tissue removed.
This is the same claw as in the previous images. The 'target' measurements for sole thickness, front hoof wall length, and hoof angle are indicated, when following the
This is a cross-section of a sole ulcer (A) in the rear claw of a dairy cow. Note that the defect extends through the sole all the way to the corium (by definition). There are also multiple defects visible in the sole tissue, and the sole is separated from the corium immediately adjacent to the ulcer (especially evident on the posterior aspect). It does not appear that there is any significant infection in the tissues/joint spaces (septic arthritis).
This is the same claw as in the previous image. Almost all of the defective/under-run sole tissue has been removed, although a defect (dark line) in the sole is still evident at the anterior aspect of the ulcer. The separated sole has also been removed from the periphery of the ulcer, so that the sole is now firmly attached to the corium (B).