Recent weeks have seen a noticeable increase in cases of lameness on dairy farms. Examination of these cows is showing that, at this time of year, many of these lame cows are cases of white line disease.

The white line is the line of attachment between the sole of the foot and the side wall. As the softest part of the foot, it is easily damaged and, therefore, is often an entry point for infection. Tracks of infection may cause a localised abscess, may penetrate to cause a deeper abscess or grit and small stones may lodge in the softened widened area causing further pain. Usually, it is the outer hind claw that is affected and in cases where both feet are affected, the lameness may not be very obvious. Recent wet weather and moisture underfoot softens the tissues still further.