Foot and Mouth Disease

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD, hoof-and-mouth disease) is a severe, highly communicable viral disease of cattle and swine. It also affects sheep and goats and other cloven hoofed animals. The disease is characterized by fever and blister-like lesions followed by erosions on the tongue and lips, in the mouth, on the teats, and between the hooves.

While many affected animals do recover, the disease results in a weakened state, loss of weight, and reduced production of milk and meat. Foot-and-mouth disease in adult sheep and goats is frequently mild or unapparent, but can cause high mortality in young animals. Sheep and goats are sometimes the reservoir of infection. The disease is virtually never harmful to humans, but is highly contagious among those animals which are vulnerable to this virus.

The United States has been free from foot-and-mouth disease since 1929. There are many diseases which can look like Foot and Mouth Disease. Due to the highly contagiousness of this disease and its potential impact on the cattle industry, any signs of FMD should be reported to your veterinarian ASAP for it to be ruled out.