Dairy Farm Lameness treatment and prevention Services

Avoid stress and lost production, save time and cost - Act now to prevent lameness with our 3 step approach

  Hoof Check – Identify and record at risk cows

Hoof Trimming – Reset hooves to improve mobility

Healthy Hoof – Create an action plan with a healthy hoof adviser

Identifying and recording problem hooves for intervention

  • Milking visit – convenient time

  • Certified & experienced Technician

  • Includes whole herd check, report with hoof trimming estimate and potential savings based on DairyNZ’s cost calculator

Reset hooves to improve mobility

  •   Certified & experienced hoof trimmer

  •   Hydraulic crush for safety & comfort

  •   All hooves lifted & checked

Create an action plan!

Anexa’s Healthy Hoof Advisers can identify risk factors and develop an action plan to reduce lameness on your dairy farm.

Working together to reduce lameness on your farm

Lameness is stressful – for you and your cows. Identifying and intervening early will benefit your cow’s health and reduce lameness costs (stress, time and lost production).

Lame cows in the milking herd are not only inconvenient but also extremely costly, reducing milk production for up to 28 days and increasing disease risk.

They have lower reproductive performance and are more likely to be not in calf at the end of lactation, leading to higher culling rates.

Lame cows also pose a welfare concern, affecting public perception and industry reputation. Reduced feed intake and increased lying time in contaminated areas cause body condition loss, reducing milk production and reproductive health.

Anexa Vets can help improve lameness, offering services to address these issues on your farm.

Lameness Services

Healthy Hoof approach

Anexa Vets hoof care is based on DairyNZ’s health hoof programme. This entails a risk assessment of farm tracks, shed layout and management on farm. Risk factors are identified which contribute to lameness followed by recommendations to amend these. This can also be accompanied by staff training in prevention and/or treatment for a thorough lameness approach.

Hoof Check

Overgrown hooves can affect the weight-bearing surface of a hoof, impact a cow’s mobility, and increase the risk of lameness. During milking, trained Anexa staff will Hoof Check to identify and record problem hooves for intervention. A report is provided outlining identified cows, an estimate for hoof trimming required and potential savings as calculated by the DairyNZ lameness calculator.

Hoof trimming services

Hoof trimming is like a pedicure for cows in that it restores the natural shape, balance and weight bearing surface of the claws. This takes them back to a foot shape as if she were a fresh calved heifer. Hoof trimming is an effective preventative process to help lower the risk of lameness. Prolonged walking during lactation coupled to other lameness risk factors on farm (pressure, status of races, layout of tracks and shed) can lead to changes in weightbearing which can ultimately lead to lameness. Hoof trimming is like hitting the reset button to restore proper angles and sole surface.

Ed Merchant is an trained hoof trimmer and farrier and can identify hoof issues, and refer them to the vet where needed.

Cow flow assessment

Slow cow flow in itself, whether on the track or through the shed, doesn’t cause lameness. It’s a symptom rather than a cause. The pressure and congestion that often occur as a result, however, increase wear and tear on cow claws which predisposes them to lameness. Anexa Vets can observe cow flow on your farm both on the tracks and through the shed and offer suggestions to minimise lameness.

Track assessment

To start reducing lameness prevalence in your herd, identifying potential risk areas is the first step. This can then help prioritise the important sections to deal with and make a plan to address or manage these issues. This doesn’t have to cost much, but can save a lot of money in reduced treatment cost, reduced loss of milk and less time spent treating animals. If you would like some help prioritising and understanding which sections are the biggest issues and how you can manage them, one of our Healthy Hoof providers can help you on your way.

Lameness scoring

To identify which cows in your herd are lame and to assist in prioritising cows for treatment the NZ dairy industry has adopted a lameness scoring system. This system places cows into one of four lameness grades. Transport certification regulations specify cows with a score 0 and 1 are fit for transport, but cows with a lameness score 2 need veterinary certification. Score 3 cows can not be transported. For further information or if you would like to learn how to score lame cows, catch up with your local vet or fill out our contact form.

Staff training and practical workshops

Training for our farmer members is an important part of the Anexa Club’s mandate. Anexa Vets offer lameness demo day and workshops throughout the year. If you are interested in learning more, have a chat with your local vet about when the next session is being held or register your interest on our events page.

Training can be done on your own farm and tailored to your needs.

Lameness workshop feedback

Extremely helpful to be able to work on hooves from the works to gain confidence on how far to dig, and to cut into areas that we wouldn’t normally see. Enjoyed the small groups and being able to ask lots of questions.

K. Steeghs

Was good to learn about prevention rather than just treatment, the practical side helped a lot.

B. McIntyre

“It was very helpful doing the paper work (theory) and practical at the same time and place.”

S. Stafford

Info sheets & how-to guides

It’s often not only what you do, but also how you do it that’s important,  that’s why it’s always a good idea to have a guide handy. Check out our info sheets below and ensure you are taking the best approach.

Information sheets


Bovine Digital Dermatitis (BDD).pdf


Lameness prevention-hoof trimming.pdf

Check out the latest advice from our vet team

Act now to prevent lameness

Act now to prevent lameness

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Lame cows are late cows

Lame cows are late cows

This is a bold statement, but some well-documented research facts about lameness will influence a cow’s overall performance in the herd: It's a vicious cycle: The reduction in energy intake often starts before lameness is even detected. This will lead to production...

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