Karl Burgi, Sure Step Int., LLC, is originally from Switzerland. He is a dairy hoof health consultant, instructor and hoof trimmer who travels the world working with dairy producers and hoof care providers to develop treatment and lameness prevention strategies.
He recommends that producers be assessing for lameness and looking for digital dermatitis in breeding age heifers. If you don’t, the risk of lameness rises exponentially.
“When digital dermatitis does not occur in heifers, the occurrence in the milking herd will be minimal with good management,” says Burgi.
Digital dermatitis accounts for about half of all lameness costs. The key to preventing it is early detection and treatment. So Burgi recommends checking heifers as they enter the breeding pen at 10 to 12 months of age.