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Linear hoof defects in sheep infected with foot-and-mouth disease
  1. A. Dekker, DVM, PhD, MSc1,
  2. P. Moonen, PhD1 and
  3. J. M. A. Pol, PhD2
  1. 1Central Institute for Animal Disease Control, CIDC-Lelystad, PO Box 2004, 8203 AA Lelystad, The Netherlands
  2. 2Jol 30-05, 8243 HA Lelystad, The Netherlands


During the epidemic of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the Netherlands in 2001, a sheep farm was identified that had been subclinically infected with the disease. The FMD virus genome was detected in 12 of 16 probang samples collected from the sheep and the virus was isolated from four of these samples. Linear defects were observed, 1 to 3 cm from the coronary band, in the hooves of several of the sheep. The defects were thought to have been caused by the FMD infection. It was thought that the distance of the defects from the coronary band might be an indication of the time since the animals had been infected. To determine the growth rate of the claws of sheep, the growth of the hoof horn of uninfected lambs and ewes was measured; in the lambs the growth rate was 0·44 mm per day and in the ewes it was 0·29 mm per day.

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