Document Type : Short Communication


1 Private Veterinary Practitioner, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran


Careful antemortem examination and interpretation of findings, assisted by good clinical records, do much to throw light on the nature of vertical fissure in cattle. During an eight month period of investigation, 13 (3.2%) lame cows with vertical fissure out of 52 Holstein cows with different claw fissures were selected for clinical and gross pathological purposes in a commercial dairy farm with 400 milking cows in Nazarabad, Iran. The cows were 2.5 to10.5 years old. The prevalence rate of vertical fissure was 3.2 per cent. The prevalence rate of claw lesion in the hind limb (69.2%) was higher than that of fore limb (30.7%). The type of vertical fissures were 4 (38.4%), 5 (23.0%), 2 (23.0%) and 3 (15.3%), respectively. Locomotion scoring assessment of 13 culled lame cows showed score ranged from grade 3 (30.7%) to 4 (61.5%). The herd had endemic digital dermatitis infection with prevalence in the adult herd of over 34.2%. The affected claws were more boxy than normal and the abaxial wall was convex in all directions. The lame cows had typical stance such as hobbyhorse or cross legged stance. This study shows that more research is needed both on the economic impact of vertical fissures in dairy cows and on the microbiological study of spirochaetes of the genus Treponema. This study recommends that owners of dairy farm should try to control digital dermatitis with preventative herd strategies.