FMD and Prevention
Watch this video to learn more about foot-and-mouth disease. 
How does FMD affect consumers?

FMD is not a public health concern but an outbreak could ultimately threaten the entire U.S. economy. Click here to find out more.

Have questions about FMD?
Look at this list of the most frequently asked questions.

FMD Symptoms

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a viral disease affecting animals with cloven (divided) hooves, such as cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and deer. The disease is not a public health or food safety concern and does not affect horses, dogs or cats and other animals without cloven hooves.

FMD is primarily characterized by 1) blisters and erosions in and around the mouth, between the hooves and on teats; 2) excessive stringy or foamy salivation and drooling; and, 3) lameness. The average time between initial infection and the appearance of symptoms is three to eight days, but it can take as long as two weeks for symptoms to appear. Other signs of FMD include:

  • High fever lasting two to three days
  • Eating less, due to painful lesions in the mouth
  • Weight loss
  • Low conception rates
  • Abortions
  • Increased death rate, especially in newborn animals
  • Reluctance to move or stand, due to sore feet and/or lameness

Because FMD can also be confused with diseases such as vesicular stomatitis, bluetongue, bovine viral diarrhea, foot rot and swine vesicular disease, it is important to immediately report any of these symptoms to your veterinarian, state or federal animal disease control officials or county agricultural agent.

FMD is not the same as “hand, foot and mouth disease,” a common childhood illness with similar symptoms but not related and caused by very different viruses, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly called “mad cow disease.”

For more information on FMD, its symptoms and photos of affected animals, visit The School of Veterinary Medicine at University of California, Davis or The Center for Food Security & Public Health at Iowa State University.

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