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J Dairy Sci. 2013 Jun;96(6):3564-72. doi: 10.3168/jds.2012-5597. Epub 2013 Mar 30.

Associations between locomotion score and kinematic measures in dairy cows with varying hoof lesion types.

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Centre for Equine and Animal Science, Writtle College, Chelmsford, CM1 3RR, United Kingdom.


During this study we explored the gait attributes commonly used in subjective locomotion scoring systems and use new technology to evaluate these gait attributes objectively on 60 Holstein lactating dairy cattle. Kinematic gait analysis more commonly used in sports and equine science was adapted for use on dairy cattle to assess stride characteristics, joint flexion, and spine posture in dairy cows with different lameness status. Cows that were lame had shorter stride length and had negative tracking distance compared with nonlame cattle. Lame cattle did not show any difference in spine posture when walking. Gait alterations were more evident in cows with sole ulcers, which showed considerable shortening of stride and had more negative tracking compared with cows with no hoof lesions. Cows with sole ulcers also showed significant shortening of the spine when walking than cows with no hoof lesions.

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