Foot-and-mouth disease and its differential diagnoses

Journal: Tierärztliche Praxis Großtiere
ISSN: 1434-1220

Schwerpunkt Bestandsbetreuung Rind

Issue: 2012: Issue 4 2012
Pages: 225-237

Foot-and-mouth disease and its differential diagnoses

J. P. Teifke (1), A. Breithaupt (1), B. Haas (1)

(1) Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Bundesforschungsinstitut für Tiergesundheit, Insel Riems


foot-and-mouth disease, vesicular stomatitis, viral disease, animal disease control


Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious viral disease of cloven-hoofed animals, which leads to the formation of vesicles, erosions und ulcerations in the mouth and hairless parts of the skin, in particular on the feet. Due to its dramatic economic consequences, FMD is considered to be one of the most important diseases of animals. There is a permanent risk of introduction of the virus into Europe due to travel and illegal importation of agricultural products. Cloven-hoofed animals (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and related game animals) are the typical hosts of the FMD virus. However, some zoo and wild animals belonging to other taxonomical groups, such as giraffes, elephants and camels, are also susceptible. Stomatitis and infections of the feet in livestock occur quite frequently, and often the causes of these conditions remain obscure. Sometimes, a differentiation from FMD is not possible on the basis of clinical signs and gross lesions, necessitating further laboratory investigations. This applies in particular to cases caused by the agents of vesicular stomatitis (VS) and swine vesicular disease (SVD). Additionally, other infectious agents can cause stomatitis, e.g. the viruses of mucosal disease (MD), malignant catarrhal fever (MCF), rinderpest, peste des petits ruminants (PPR), papular stomatitis, orf, blue tongue (BT) and epizootic haemorrhagic disease (EHD). In sheep, a stomatitis of unclear etiology was described as „OMAGOD“. Furthermore, bacteria, chemicals and mechanical trauma can cause stomatitis and pododermatitis.

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