Treating lame cows

Find out more about the infectious and non-infectious conditions that cause lameness and how they can be treated. 

Whether a cow is lame because of an infectious disease or a physical factor, it must be treated as quickly as possible. 

Lameness does not resolve itself and the faster you intervene, the sooner the animal recovers. Quick treatment can also prevent damage occurring deep within the foot, which protects against lameness in the future.

Digital dermatitis

Digital dermatitis is a common infectious cause of lameness. Our step-by-step guide helps you treat the condition in your herd.

Find out more about digital dermatitis


Foul is a very painful infection that causes sudden lameness and swelling of the foot. Prompt treatment is very important.

How to identify foul-in-the-foot

Injury of the horn

Any injury to the horn can become complicated if the lesions get infected, so learning how to resolve these injuries quickly prevents infection and further pain.

Learn more about injury of the horn

Thin soles

Thin soles cause sole bruising; a common condition which affects cattle at many stages of their lives. It can be easily rectified using simple management techniques.

See the principles of treatment for sole bruising

Blocking a foot

Blocking a cow’s foot changes the physical forces which act upon it and relieves weight from affected areas. It’s an important method of managing many types of lameness.

How to block a foot


Aftercare is an important part of any treatment and each cow must be monitored during and after her recovery to make sure she is progressing well.

The lame cow: aftercare

Useful links

Lameness in dairy cows

Lesions of cows' feet

Hoof care field guide

Lesion recognition and trouble shooter guide

If you would like to order a hard copy of the Hoof care field guide or Lesion recognition trouble shooter guide, please contact or call 0247 799 0069.