1994 Volume 56 Issue 6 Pages 1029-1034
Two hundred and thirty-nine digits of 45 Holstein dairy cows, which were raised in typical Japanese dairy farms and received poor hoof management, were randomly obtained in the slaughterhouses and examined histopathologically. The findings were classified into 5 grades on the basis of the severity of circulatory disturbances and of keratogenesis. The lesions from Grade 1 to 5 were considered as manifestations of serial lesions indicating that subclinical laminitis advanced to other hoof lesions. The incidence of Grade 2, regarded as subclinical laminitis, reached approximately 50% of digits examined. The lesions classified as Grades 3 (23.9%) and 4 (5.4%) were mainly characterized by circulatory disturbances, which were similar to those of chronic laminitis in the previous reports. The incidence of Grade 5, characterized by sole ulcer, was 5.4%. It is suggested that a considerable number of dairy cows in Japan suffered from subclinical laminitis, which may be the cause of recent high incidence of hoof diseases in dairy cows.