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Recognizing, treating pain in lame dairy cows requires whole team approach

23 December 2020

VETPARTNERS has launched a project to encourage a team approach to recognising and treating pain in lame dairy cows.

IMAGE NAME/DESCRIPTION
Ruminant clinical director Emily Craven leads the project

The veterinary group’s Production Animal Clinical Board Mobility Special Interest Group (SIG) has launched Project FEET.

Project FEET stands for Furthering the Evidence base on cow mobility by Engaging the whole Team.

The aim of the project is to better understand attitudes towards recognising pain and treating it by the whole mobility healthcare team, including farms, foot trimmers, veterinary technicians and vets.

The project was founded and developed by the Mobility SIG at VetPartners, led by vet Emily Craven, ruminant clinical director at Oakwood Veterinary Group in Harleston, Norfolk.

Emily said: “Lameness in dairy owns remains the ‘elephant in the room’ where we know the national prevalence is high, but we are often guilty of thinking of it as someone else’s problem. It is a welfare issue for cows, a perception issue for dairy farming and is something that we need to collectively take ownership of. Improving lameness takes two angles – treating and managing lame cows and preventing new cases. This project focuses on treatment and management of lame cows.”

In the first stage of Project FEET, VetPartners is inviting people who work with lame dairy cows to complete a short questionnaire about what they think of certain conditions and how to approach the treatment of various diseases. Each survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete, responses are anonymous, but you can at the end be transferred to put your details into a prize draw to win £100 Love2shop vouchers.

Survey links:
Farmers: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ProjectFEETFarmer
Foot Trimmers: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ProjectFEETTrim
Veterinary Technicians: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ProjectFEETTech
Veterinary Surgeons: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ProjectFEETVet

VetPartners aims to deliver outstanding care to their patients and an excellent service for clients.

Highlighting the importance of the condition, VetPartners Farm Director Ian Cure said: “Lameness is something that directly effects on-farm efficiency for all of our dairy clients. By working together to improve mobility and foot health, we also reduce the risk of other diseases, such as mastitis and transition diseases, as well as improve welfare.”

VetPartners Director of Clinical Research and Excellence in Practice Dr Rachel Dean added: “Project FEET is a great example of how we want to increase the evidence base to improve animal health and welfare. By working directly with the whole mobility team, we can identify practical, realistic solutions to improve the welfare of cows on farms.”

Members of the Mobility SIG involved in this project include Emily Craven MRCVS Oakwood (lead); Amy Jones MRCVS and Phil Dawber, MRCVS, Cornwall Dairy Vets; Andrew Henderson MRCVS, LLM Farm Vets, Bakewell; Eliot Hedley MRCVS, Farm Vets South West; James Dixon MRCVS, Westpoint Ashbourne; Kathryn Rowland B.Sc.Hons (Agric) Kingshay; Natalie Parker, Hannah Fitzsimmonds MRCVS, Will Gratwick MRCVS and Tom Wright MRCVS, LLM Farm Vets, Whitchurch and Tamsin Harris-Bryant MRCVS, Penbode.

If you have any queries about this study, please contact [email protected]

 

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