Dairy Cow Lameness: Introduction to basic treatments, risk factors and preventative measures

Start date: 21 June 2023

Duration: 9:30am – 4:30pm

Location: Morning theory session – Comeragh Veterinary, Main St, Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford | Afternoon practical session - On Farm, Adramone More, Leamybrien, Co. Waterford

Certificate: Pending CVE Points

Cost: Member Rate €160, Non-Member Rate €320

Programme overview

This lameness introduction event with trainer Ger Cusack is aimed at farm animal or mixed vets who have little or no experience in the treatment of lameness but want to improve or acquire new technical skills around both functional and curative hoof trimming and wish to better understand why cows become lame and what preventative advice vets can deliver.

Delegates will gain the basic knowledge and skills to recognise and treat the common conditions causing lameness in dairy cows. They will also gain confidence in advising farmer clients on risk factors contributing to a high incidence of lameness, and appropriate farm-specific preventative measures.

There are 9 places available, so early booking is advisable.

Event Details

Learning Outcomes

  • Costs and losses associated with lameness on Irish dairy farms
  • Basic anatomy of the normal bovine foot
  • Dutch Method of corrective trimming/shaping foot
  • The equipment you need and how to best to sharpen knives
  • Diagnosis of lameness conditions commonly seen in Irish grazing dairy herds
  • Appropriate hoof paring for each condition including tips on applying blocks to the sound claw
  • Foot bathing; Footbath construction and footbathing protocols
  • Mobility Scoring; Use of videos to demonstrate mobility scoring, how mobility scoring system can be put to use on Irish Dairy farms
  • Farm infrastructure; Roadway design, construction and maintenance, Collecting yards, design, size and surface quality, Winter housing – cubicles, yards and feed barriers
  • Practical hoof paring demonstration on dairy cows


Ger Cusack MVB MRCVS Cert DHH – Ger graduated from UCD in 1982 and is a practising vet in Comeragh Veterinary, a mixed, mainly dairy cattle practice, based in Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford. Completing the Certificate in Dairy Herd Health in 2015 revived Ger’s interest in Bovine Preventive Medicine. The management and control of Bovine Lameness is a field of particular interest to Ger and he has delivered many courses to both vets and farmers on this and related topics. Ger is an elected member of the Veterinary Council of Ireland, the statutory body that is responsible for the regulation of the veterinary profession in Ireland Member of the Animal Health Ireland Lameness Technical Working Group.

Ned Dunphy – Hoof Trimmer with 40 years’ experience, involved with training hoof trimmers and delivering training to farmers on all aspects of hoof care and lameness prevention and mitigation.

About XLVets Skillnet:

Established in 2011, XLVets Skillnet is a not-for-profit Learning Network co-funded by Skillnet Ireland and our member companies. Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

Of the 70+ Skillnet Ireland Learning Networks, we are the only Network dedicated exclusively to supporting the veterinary sector in Ireland. We do this through the provision of high-quality, sector-led, subsidised training and education.

For further details visit https://xlvetsskillnet.ie/