Prevalence of claw lesions in free range short horn cattle (zebu) in Kwimba district, Tanzania
Claw lesions are the problems which affect the hoofed animals and may or may not result into lameness. In cattle, this is a disease of economical importance as it affects the animal wellbeing as well as the economy of the farmer. The disease has been shown to affect animals kept in different production systems, although much information is available from the intensive dairy units and beef in feedlot systems. Limited studies have investigated the problems of claw lesions in cattle under pastoral and agro-pastoral systems in Tanzania. The present study was carried out to determine the prevalence and characteristics of claw lesions in the free range cattle in Nyambiti Village Kwimba district in Mwanza. The study was carried out during dry and rainy season between 2014 and 2015. A total of 19 households were selected for study whereby 367 cattle were examined. A total of 206 cattle were examined during dry season and 161 during rainy season. The overall prevalence of the claw lesions was 7.6%. During the dry season, 13 (6.3%) cattle had claw lesions while during rainy season 15 (9.3%) cattle had claw lesions. The observed lesions traumatic injury, claw abscess, hoof overgrowth, inward and outward curved claw, laminitis, hardened groove and swelling of the coronary area, foot rot, interdigital dermatitis, heel erosion and double sole. Most of the lesions were realized in cows which accounted for 71.4% of all lesions. Hind legs had most of the claw lesions (82.1%). It is concluded that claw lesion is a problem in free range short horn zebu hence the farmers should be given proper information and advices on the claw problems as to how it occurs and the associated effects as well as management on animals.
Keywords: Claws, Lesions, Free range, Zebu, Kwimba district