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Diseases - Foot and Mouth Disease - FAQs

Disease Background

1. What is foot and mouth disease?

Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a highly infectious viral disease in which fever is followed by the development of blisters - chiefly in the mouth or feet. There are 7 main types of virus, which produce similar symptoms.

2. What animals are suseptible to foot and mouth disease?

Cattle, sheep, goats, deer, camel, llama, alpaca, guanaco, vicuna and all other ruminating animals, swine, elephants, rodents and hedgehogs are susceptible to FMD and can become quite ill. In Scotland we are concerned mostly with cattle, sheep, pigs and goats and to some extent deer.

3. What are the clinical signs of foot and mouth disease?

Vesicles (blisters) in the mouth or on the feet and other signs which vary somewhat but may be:

  • Pigs - fever, lameness, dullness, off feed.
  • Cattle - fever, dullness, off feed, shivering, reduced milk yield and sore teats in milking stock, drooling of saliva, tenderness of feet or lameness
  • Sheep and goats - fever, lameness, stiff legged walk, off colour, tendency to lie down, increased lamb mortality