Bovine Lameness and Podiatry

How to – Apply hoof block

Goal- Use the block to lift the affected foot off the ground so that the lame digit is not weight bearing and can heal. [This is not necessary if the sore digit can be kept off the ground with trimming.]

Step 1. Properly trim the healthy hoof

  • The block should be perpendicular to the long axis of the leg; this means the heels have to be balanced.

Step 2. Pick the right sized block

  • Plastic blocks are useful in high wear environments (eg sand). Generally thicker blocks are used.

Step 3. Roughen the foot

  • Use a grinder to lightly remove the horn and debris.

Step 4. Dry hoof and block

  • The foot needs to be clean and dry. Dry the hoof and block  with a heat gun.

Step 5. Apply glue to block

  • Two part component clue
  • Apply 1/8″ glue to weight bearing areas: to the toe triangle and along the wall; avoid the flexor tuberosity area

Step 6. Lightly press block on hoof

  • Too much pressure will squeeze the glue out.
  • Smooth the glue around the edges with a tongue depressor
  • Ensure the block extends over the heel area; if excessive it can be trimmed back

Step 7. Check positioning and fix if needed

  • Walking can be improved by using a grinder to create an angle to the block (roll over)

  • Ensure the other digit is protected from weight bearing and that the entire block will be weight bearing. Adjust if needed. 

Step 8. Reassess in 4 -6 weeks


MN Dairy Quality Cares – Lameness, best management practices


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Large Animal Surgery - Supplemental Notes Copyright © by Erin Malone, DVM, PhD is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.