How effective is individual claw trimming in cattle? An ex-vivo study

Individual claw trimming in cattle

  • Hakan Salci Prof.
Keywords: Individual claw trimming, morphometry, claw, cattle.


Claw trimming is an application to give a functional shape to the claws, to maintain foot weight distribution and to prevent foot diseases. Claw trimming should be done by experts. In this study, it was aimed to show the effectiveness of individual claw trimming applied in cattle claws by morphometric measurements.

As material, 85 ex-vivo cattle feet of different races were used. The feet were divided into four groups as right front (n=17), left front (n=17), right hind (n=24) and left hind (n=27). In addition, the claws were divided laterally and medially. After the mechanical cleaning of the claws, functional nail cutting (Dutch method) was applied by different people and morphometric measurements of the claws (claw angle, dorsal wall length, claw height, diagonal length, heel height, inner heel height, sole length, sole width, abaxial white line width and axial white line width).

The claw angle was 49° on the right hind lateral, 47° on the right hind medial, 49° on the left hind medial and within reference ranges on the other claws. Statistically, dorsal wall length of right anterior lateral (p=0.006) and left posterior medial (p=0.01) claws were significant. Significance was also detected left posterior lateral (p=0.01) and left posterior medial (p=0.01) claws in diagonal length. Inner heel height was significant on claws of left posterior lateral (p=0.01), and there was significant difference on right front lateral (p=0.02), left anterior medial (p=0.03) and left posterior medial (p=0.002) claws in terms of sole width.

As a conclusion, the claw trimming is important manipulation in large animal practice, regardless of the applied claw trimming technique, individual claw trimming has some difference on morphometric shape of the claws, and it should be performed by masters on this.

Original Articles