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Gehringer, Susanne; Müller, Mathias; Maierl, Johann (2017): Morphological investigations of deep sole ulcers in cattle. Part 2: Toe ulcers, white line disease in the heel and changes due to inappropriate weight bearing and deficient claw care. In: Tierärztliche Praxis Ausgabe Grosstiere Nutztiere, Vol. 45, No. 2: pp. 73-82
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the morphology of pathological changes to the inner structures of the claw in cases of toe ulcers, white line disease in the heel and changes due to inappropriate weight bearing and deficient claw care. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Hind limbs of 55 cows displaying external signs of complicated sole ulcers were examined externally and internally. To examine the samples internally, a sagittal section was performed. Furthermore, the material was examined after bone maceration and histologically. A total of 43 claws of 112 digits with 120 deep sole ulcers displayed a toe ulcer and in 18 claws white line disease was diagnosed. RESULTS: In animals with toe ulcers, necrosis of the pedal bone was found in severely altered claws. In cows with white line disease, osteolysis in the abaxial region of the margo solearis and arthritis in the distal interphalangeal joint were the most common pathological findings. Claws with deficient claw care displayed severe pathological changes to the pedal bone. CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Sole ulcers may rapidly cause serious and irreversible changes to the structures encased within the hoof capsule and consequently have an impact on animal welfare. Therefore, prophylaxis and functional claw care are essential measures to avoid pathological conditions in claws and to improve animal welfare.