Crampy Cow Research Study

Crampy cows are concerning to dairy farmers. We want to understand this syndrome better and work towards developing tools and strategies that can reduce Crampy in the Canadian dairy population.

Better Genetic Selection For Dairy Herd Improvement

We HEAR from producers and veterinarians that Crampy is becoming a bigger problem on farms, but we don’t SEE it in our data. Crampy has typically been recorded through the classification system, which often takes place BEFORE the onset of symptoms. Collecting data from all dairy farms across Canada will help us to better understand Crampy and begin developing genetic tools to reduce its impact.

Healthy Cows Are Productive Cows

Are there Crampy cows on your farm? Participating in our Cow Data Collection Blitz is quick, easy, and supports our collective goal of improved dairy production, farm profit and overall animal health and well-being. If you have Crampy cows, we want to hear from you!

Your Data Is Your Data

All data collected is 100% confidential and will not be shared or made public. We promise!

Paving the Way for the Next Generation

Collectively, the productive life of Canadian dairy cows continues to improve as dairy farmers understand and support collaborative industry projects. Ultimately, your participation makes everything better for the next generation of dairy farmers and your time is greatly appreciated. 

Crampy = Bovine Spastic Syndrome

Crampy is a chronic-progressive neuromuscular disorder that affects all breeds of cattle. Crampy usually affects older cattle and is characterized by spastic contractions in the muscle on one or both hindlegs, the back, and eventually the entire body.

Don’t Confuse With Paresis!

For this data collection blitz, we are also interested in knowing any females in your herd that have Bovine Spastic Paresis. Please include those animals in your reporting and indicate them as having Paresis.


  • Hindlimb neuromuscular disease with no recovery
  • Symptoms appear when in motion


  • Paresis usually occurs in calves and affects one hindlimb with a locked hock, resembling a ‘pegged-leg’ with no shaking
Send us your Crampy cow information in 2 easy steps

STEP 1 – Identify Animals

Look for animals in your herd that exhibit Crampy behaviour noting their:

  • Animal Tag ID
  • Registration # (if applicable)
  • Level of severity
  • Age at onset
  • Possibility of Paresis

STEP 2 –  Record and Send

Record data by one of two options:

1. Secure easy on-line entry that instantly sends: 

2] Download form and send:

Download the PDF or Excel data collection form. Once it’s filled out, choose a delivery option that works best for you: 

(remember to attach your data  – Excel, PDF, scan or clear photo accepted)

Mail:  Attention Crampy Project, Lactanet Canada, 660 Speedvale Ave West, Suite 101, Guelph, ON N1K 1E5

Fax:  Attention Crampy Project, (519) 767-6768

On-farm: Give to your Lactanet representative

Signs That You Have A Crampy Cow

Affected Areas of Body

  • Most commonly affects both hindlimbs


Age At Onset

  • Mature animals  between 2 and 7 years old


Clinical Symptoms

  • Early signs include shaking or pressing against neck-rail when rising
  • Episodes of hyperextending hindlimbs usually accompanied by head raising and a stretching behaviour
  • Mild cases usually have symptom-free periods which worsen over a period of time
  • Shows signs of lameness, but can still walk bearing full weight

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