Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 26: A Different Kind of Nail File

When a cow has feet problems, we have to fix it.  Cows can become sore on one toe, and that will cause them to limp and not put weight on that foot.  However, we can fix this issue by relieving the pressure on the bad toe.  We do this by installing what is known as a hoof block.  It is simply a piece of wood shaped like the cow's hoof that is glued onto the good toe on the bad foot.  This makes this the good toe "taller", and the cow puts all her weight on the good toe with the block, and not on the bad toe, allowing the cow to walk normally until the bad toe heals.  This prevents her from falling or causing more serious damage and relieves any pain. (think of it like Dr. Scholl's inserts)

We've got a special glue that mixes together and creates a secure bond between the hoof and the wood.  We then use the pink wrap (similar to what you wrap ankles or wrists with for sports) to apply any medication to the hoof, and let the cow heal.  Don't worry, these are big animals, and the wooden block simply wears away with time, giving the cow back her natural toes.  (and, if it doesn't, we just give her another "pedicure" to remove the remaining wood).

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