The aim of this study was to collate and review the peer and non-peer reviewed English language literature on the treatment and prevention of foot lameness in cattle published since January 2000. The study aimed to identify deficits in knowledge and areas of disparity between what is recommended in the field by veterinarians, foot trimmers and advisors and what has been substantiated experimentally. Peer reviewed literature containing original work was gathered by searching three databases. Papers were categorised and reviewed if they contained material on treatment or prevention. Non-peer reviewed clinical materials were collated from a range of sources. The materials were reviewed and categorised based on whether they recommended a range of possible treatment and prevention strategies.
The peer reviewed data base contained 591 papers, of which 286 contained information on treatment or prevention. The vast majority of papers (258) concerned prevention; only a small number covered treatment (31) and of these only three contained information on the treatment of sole ulcers or white line disease. The number of intervention studies and trials was low; most papers on prevention were observational. Generally, lesion specific outcomes were not described making the findings of these papers difficult to use clinically. The non-peer reviewed material contained 46 sources; they varied significantly in regard to the treatments they advocated with some texts directly contradicting each other. Some aspects of prevention recommended in these sources seemed poorly supported by findings from the research literature. Well designed intervention studies are required to address these deficits.