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Clinical signs of foot-and-mouth disease in cattle
A range of clinical signs may indicate the presence of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in cattle.
Steer with FMD tongue lesions. © UK DEFRA.
Typical clinical signs of FMD in cattle include:
- pyrexia (up to 42°C)
- in dairy animals, reduced milk volume for 2-3 days.
Vesicles develop on the buccal and nasal mucous membranes and/or between the claws and coronary band. These may lead to:
- smacking of lips
- stamping or kicking of feet.
Vesicles frequently also develop on the mammary glands.
Vesicles rupture, leaving erosions 24 hours later.
Cattle generally recover from FMD within 8-15 days, but complications may include:
- tongue erosions
- secondary infection of lesions
- hoof deformations
- mastitis and permanent impairment of milk production
- permanent weight loss.
Young animals may die from viral myocarditis.
- Read more about the signs and transmission of FMD.