Hair loss and lesions

Published 26 June 14

Hair loss and lesions can demonstrate some form of skin damage. Occasionally, small areas of skin damage may be inevitable among a herd but areas larger than 2cm should give reason for concern.

Hairless patches indicate rubbing on rough surfaces or irritation, ectoparasite presence or previous injuries (scars).

The location of both hair loss and lesions is important in determining the likely causes. For example, legs, knees and hocks with hair loss or lesions are indicative that the lying area is not comfortable with abrasive surfaces, insufficient bedding and/or hard surfaces. Hair loss or lesions to the neck tend to indicate an inadequate feed barrier or incorrect cubicle neck rail height.



A scoring scheme has been developed to aid producers in assessing the levels of  hair loss and lesions seen within the herd. Running on a 0 -2 scale, four different body areas are scored as to the number of different score hairless patches and lesions seen.

AHDB Dairy have produced resources for use on farm when assessing the herd, along with details on factors which can impact the levels seen.





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