News & Advice

Broken and Damaged Tails

Apr 5, 2019 | Compliance, Dairy, Dairy Animal Health & Welfare

Ali Cullum, Veterinarian, Anexa Vets Morrinsville

Do you have cows in your herd who look like the one in the photo? 
Have you ever had dislocated joints or broken bones in your fingers?
If you are familiar with the pain associated with these injuries, then you know what the cow suffers with a broken tail, and you will understand why these injuries are a welfare concern. 
Tail injuries are now monitored in cows going for slaughter and feedback given to the supplying farmers. If you have cows with broken tails you need to ask how they are occurring. Are they happening before the animals come on farm (during the rearing phase) or are they happening outside the dairy shed, during handling or on machinery and equipment? Tails should not be twisted so violently that the connections between the vertebrae break. If a cow has a new tail injury it is painful, she should receive anti-inflammatories and if there is raw skin or bone exposed she needs veterinary attention. If you are concerned about broken tails in your herd, ask your veterinarian to help you with an assessment of the situation. 

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