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Rampant shelly hoof or __ . Can anyone offer advice?

Discussion in 'Emergencies, Injuries, Diseases, and Cures' started by Yamabushi, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. Oct 7, 2017
    Yamabushi

    Yamabushi Exploring the pasture

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    Hey all. Hoping I might find some advice. I recently checked hooves and my entire flock has what I think is shelly hoof. It is even occurring in the 5 month old lambs to a lesser degree. The original ewes are from a different origin from my main sire, but it is also occurring in my sire (to lesser degree but still occurring). I'm finding pockets on every animal in the flock, though some animals have it on only one hoof and some to lesser degree. No lameness is occurring in the flock, but i eventually want to sell quality breeding stock and need to address this issue.

    The breed is St. Croix, and they are on Southern States mineral mix for sheep. The area is southern Appalachia mountains, 2546 elevation. Surrounding forest mostly oak/pine/black locust/black walnut. The pasture is mostly clover/orchard grass/native grasses and i have a few stands of chickory. They also have lots of browse of berry vines and various saplings. It was a very dry summer, but the issue still occurred.

    The farm where I got the ram from does not have it occurring besides once in a blue moon and to much lesser degree. It is possible the original ewes from another farm had something with them, as it was occurring on them about 6 months before the ram arrived, I thought I nixed it after trimming and treatment back then(apparently not). I'm not 100% if its shelly hoof or something else. I don't smell much when inspecting...

    Im treating by trimming off dead hoof wall (recommended by vet and other sources), Hoof Heal, and then Koppertox. While I feel I can fix up the hooves with work and patience I really want to address the source of the problem if possible. Maybe nutritional? I read a blog where a shepherd had similar issues and used goat mineral mix suspecting copper deficiency, and after a few months the hooves looked 10x better. The southern states mineral mix I have appears to have adequate levels of zinc but no copper. I know sheep can get copper poisoning but can also be deficient in copper. It doesn't seem like there are many good mineral suppliment options so if anyone has a great one to recommend please let me know...

    What would you do?

    Severe (before trim. Note large pocket on left)
    [​IMG]

    Severe (after trim, note the wall had to be removed almost all the way to base)
    [​IMG]

    Less severe case (before trim, this is on my sire)
    [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  2. Oct 8, 2017
    mysunwolf

    mysunwolf True BYH Addict

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    We are in a similar location and have the exact same problem. It's almost impossible to escape these kinds of problems where we are. The ground just stays wet all year round up where we are. I know you said it was a dry summer, but a lot of times I've seen shelly hoof happen where there WAS footrot that went undetected, caused the wall to become misshapen, and then you hit a dry spell and the footrot goes away but the misshapen wall remains.

    Best thing to do is actually NOT to trim the hoof wall back like that, this can cause more issues since you're forcing the animal to walk on the toe pad instead of the hoof wall. I know the vets in this country will tell you to do that, but I have not had any luck doing that. Instead, clip the hooves so they're flat, and scoop out the dirt and such from the pockets. Then spray zinc sulfate down in the pockets to prevent footrot.

    As a preventative, have them walk through a zinc sulfate bath a few times in the spring. You can also add zinc to the feed. Since they're St. Croix, consider using copper wire particles once a year on the adults--then you know exactly how much you're giving them, as opposed to minerals where they could eat variable amounts. I agree that it could be a copper issue. Make sure to also add selenium or vit E to your minerals (we are very low here), or give annual BoSe injections.

    Also, don't feel bad, those hooves look really good compared to most farms I see around here ;)
     
    Yamabushi likes this.
  3. Oct 8, 2017
    Yamabushi

    Yamabushi Exploring the pasture

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    Thanks for the reply. Since I've already trimmed a few Ill see how those heal compared to the ones I don't. Both the vet and one of my mentors in the breed said trimming it off was the best bet but I guess ill just see what it does. Seems like the koppertox would provide a protective shell over any exposed flesh.

    For the zinc sulfate, where do you get yours? I don't see many good options on Amazon and the local farm store doesn't have it. I have hoof heel which is 10%zf but Im looking to buy powder in bulk if im doing regular foot baths. I just use the hoof heal to squirt on the hooves.

    It is occurring on my lambs which were born in May, and its been quite dry since then.

    Ill look into the copper wire particles. Never heard of that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
  4. Oct 9, 2017
    mysunwolf

    mysunwolf True BYH Addict

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    I get my zinc sulfate from Pipestone, as well as any other extra minerals I add to the mix. Copper oxide wire particles are in boluses, often under the trade name Copasure. I haven't had enough time to testify to their effects, but other shepherds that I know have seen hoof (and parasite) improvement from supplementing this form of copper.

    Please let us know how your lambs and others do, I'm curious to see your results! I've seen shelly hoof every year in some animals, but it's always been followed by footrot. Maybe I have my cause and effect backwards on that.
     
  5. Oct 9, 2017
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    What size bolus do you give your sheep?
     
  6. Oct 10, 2017
    mysunwolf

    mysunwolf True BYH Addict

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    We used 1g on the adults, and 0.5g on the lambs. So far they are looking really good! Have not had a chance to see how it's affecting the hooves yet, though.
     
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  7. Oct 10, 2017
    Yamabushi

    Yamabushi Exploring the pasture

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    Im getting some forage samples done from the extension office to see if i notice any deficiencies there. I talked to the vet again on the phone and he said copper deficiencies are rare in these soils, but ill see where this test takes me.