Easing the discomfort of blocks

Lameness: Research Snippets

Increasing early detection of lameness and success of treatment was the theme of this year’s International Conference on Lameness in Ruminants, held in Bristol. Here, Jo Speed, DairyCo lameness specialist, reports back the most pertinent findings.

Easing the discomfort of blocks

An increase in lying time is good – but only for the right reasons, says Jo.  “Researchers from Nottingham University found that using blocks speeds up recovery from lameness, but can increase discomfort during the treatment period. 

Giving pain relief to the cow at time of block application for ulcers or white line disease therefore reduces the additional time she spends lying down because of the discomfort – and increases her time for other activities such as feeding.”  Lame cows receiving a trim and a block lay down on average for 13.2 hours per day, which is 47 minutes longer than those that received a trim only and 1.5 hours long than non-lame cows.  

However, when the lame cows received a trim, a block and a three-day course of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory  drug (NSAID), lying was reduced by 75 minutes per day. “Additionally, blocks should always be checked to either remove or replace four weeks after application,” adds Jo.


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