Clinical signs of foot-and-mouth disease in sheep and goats

A range of clinical signs may indicate the presence of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in sheep and goats.

Tongue lesions are one possible sign of FMD in sheep

Sheep with FMD tongue lesions. © UK DEFRA.

In sheep and goats, the disease is usually mild with few lesions, however, clinical signs can include:

  • pyrexia
  • lameness and oral lesions, which are often mild
  • foot lesions along the coronary band or interdigital spaces, and lesions on the dental pad, but these may go unrecognised
  • agalactia in milking sheep and goats
  • death of young stock without clinical signs.

Severely affected animals can succumb to sudden, severe lameness affecting 1 or more feet.

The mild or sub-clinical expression of the disease in sheep is a significant risk factor for the spread of the disease.

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