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Louise Lethbridge

Doctor of Philosophy, (Animal Science)
Study Completed: 2011
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Lameness of dairy cattle: Factors affecting the mechanical properties, haemorrhage levels, growth and wear rates of bovine claw horn

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Lameness is one of the main economic and welfare issues faced by the global dairy industry. The research undertaken by Mrs Louise Lethbridge was completed in collaboration between Massey and Exeter University in the UK to assess the health, mechanical and functional properties of bovine claw horn. Louise found puncture resistance more effective than elastic modulus in elucidated changes in the health and mechanical properties of claw horn. The studies concluded that claw horn related issues were the main cause of lameness and while individual animals can exhibit high levels of claw horn disruption, there were immediate management factors such as genetic selection and crossbreeding, animal handling and dietary microbial supplementation that provided opportunities to enhance claw horn health, improve animal welfare and the human working environment, along with increasing economic productivity within the dairy industry.

Dr Jean Margerison
Dr Betina Winkler
Dr Chris Smith
Dr Alan Walmsley
Professor Richard Laven