Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)

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Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)

Aftosa, Aphthous Fever, Epizootic Aphthae


  • Foot and mouth disease is caused by a virus that has seven types and over 60 subtypes.


  • Symptoms of foot and mouth disease in goats are usually less severe than those seen in cattle. Goats symptoms include dullness, fever, and small blisters on the mouth and tongue that break and leave small pits. Small blisters also will appear between the toes and on the feet. These areas turn pale and then peel off, leaving erosions and sores between the toes.
  • The affected animals are very lame. The same type of blisters and erosions appear on the teats.
  • Affected animals will not eat, and if the feet are very sore, will not stand.
  • Sometimes the first symptoms are sudden death in kids, with abortions in the adults.
  • Ministries and Departments of Agriculture require that FMD be reported, if suspected.


  • It is widespread over much of the world. The disease is spread by swallowing the virus on feed or by inhaling or getting virus particles in the eyes from virus-laden air.
  • Spread by recovered carrier cattle, sheep, goats, and hogs, foot and mouth disease can occur for a year or longer after the symptoms are gone.
  • There is some evidence the virus can be spread through the air by winds.


  • There is no effective treatment.


  • Vaccination can be made as a preventative measure against the type that occurs locally.
  • Some countries use the eradication method—all exposed and sick animals are destroyed, then burned, or buried.


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