Contagious ecthyma viruse cause prominent skin lesions in goats. Virus infections involving other body systems also may have cutaneous manifestations.
Contagious ecthyma is a contagious, zoonotic disease of goats and sheep (and camelids) that has several alternative names, including orf, soremouth, scabby mouth, and contagious pustular dermatitis. It has worldwide distribution.
Etiology and Epidemiology
The cause is an epitheliotropic parapoxvirus that enters the goat through skin abrasions. The virus replicates in proliferating keratinocytes in the damaged epidermis and then causes a primary viremia to lymph nodes, bone marrow, and liver.
The morbidity in young kids often approaches 100%, while mortality from starvation and secondary infections may be as high as 20% but is usually much lower.
Scabs that fall to the ground during resolution of lesions have long been incriminated as the source of infection to other animals months or even years later and this is indeed possible if the environment remains dry.
The incubation period is three to eight days. Papules progress rapidly to vesicles, pustules, and scabs. Crusty, proliferative lesions typically form on the lips but can also affect the face, ears, coronary band, scrotum, teats, or vulva. The scabs frequently harbor secondary bacteria (such as staphylococci) or even screwworm maggots. Sometimes large masses of granulation tissue develop under the scabs. Lesions regress in three or four weeks.
Most adult goats with lesions on the lips continue to eat and milk well. Occasional goats, especially young kids exposed to other diseases or management deficiencies, will develop generalized lesions or severe secondary bacterial infections. Lesions on the teats of milking animals may compromise the health of the sphincter and predispose to bacterial mastitis. Associated pain may cause the doe to reject nursing efforts by its kid.
Diagnosis is usually based on clinical signs alone, although electron microscopy or immunologic techniques to demonstrate antigen in scabs or serology could be used for confirmation or to rule out capripox infection.
The possible beneficial effects of treatment must be weighed against the danger of zoonotic infection. Any person handling an affected goat should wear gloves. Kerosene mixed with lard, penetrating oil spray and bismuth subsalicylate. Systemic antibiotics are indicated if secondary bacterial infections are severe. An udder salve is indicated to keep scabs on the teats pliable.
Commercially available vaccines often are unattenuated live virus preparations (basically ground-up scabs) or are tissue culture strains. An autogenous vaccine can be made by crushing, in saline, a few grams of scabs between two spoons or with a mortar and pestle.
It is important to vaccinate at least six weeks before the show season so that vaccine scabs will be gone before the first show.
A program of vaccination for all young kids often in conjunction with annual revaccination of late pregnant adults is then established.
FMD is a highly contagious disease
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The major clinical signs of stomatitis, enteritis, and. During early stages of the disease, the lips are edematous and brown scabs cover eroded and ulcerated epithelium.
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