- Global Canine Communication, The World's First Public Website Launched 1998




Diagnosing canine disease starts with "Is it contagious, acquired, or hereditary?" Here is critical information to help you help your veterinarian diagnose and treat your dog's disease.





by Richard Fayrer-Hosken, PhD, University Of Georgia Veterinary Professor

and Barbara J. Andrews, NetPlaces Network President


Foot, hoof and mouth can be carried by animals from house pets to elephants and with a risk of human infection, this veterinary professor shows us what it looks like.



'Hoof and Mouth' disease can be carried by a variety of animals but it is not the same as the current outbreak of hand-foot-and-mouth disease.


Richard Fayer-Hoskins, PHD, UNGA Theriogenology ProfessorYears ago my veterinarian referred me to the University Of Georgia (UNGA) in Atlanta for a canine fertility problem. The "vet school" was/is the South's premier destination for canine reproductive problems. The trip to Georgia was 'productive' but it was also an uncanny coincidence.


As a child I had bonded with a baby elephant at a local zoo and at UNGA we were seen by world-renowned elephant expert, Dr. Richard Fayrer-Hosken! That vet-visit led to Dr. Richard's position on the NetPlaces Network Science And Advisory Board.


So when this weird Foot and Mouth Disease erupted and Mayo Clinic assured us “Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is an infectious viral disease found in farm animals. You can't contract hand-foot-and-mouth disease from pets or other animals, and you can't transmit it to them.” we decided to check with veterinary expert Dr. Richard.


Was it true that rats, cats, and animals (such as elephants!) could carry hoof and mouth disease as has been reported? He said that pachyderms could probably carry the virus but would not be affected.


Dr. Fayrer-Hosken added as a cautioned “We must all play a role in taking responsibility for our animals. Awareness is the key. There are still a lot of significant diseases out there, anthrax for example.


We should not relax vigilance over time even though some would pooh-pooh the whole thing or say it is only an isolated problem. All such problems are now part of the global interaction and it is through awareness, prevention, and containment that disease outbreaks are kept isolated.


So as we go into 2023 we still do not know where foot and mouth came from but we are thankful that horses (which have a solid hoof) remain safe from foot and mouth disease. It does however affect cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, deer and pigs, all of which have a split toe.


It does not affect animals with paws (like dogs and cats) and there have been no reported human infections.  As a side note, it is interesting that we in the U.S. call it hoof and mouth disease, whereas the common term in the U.K. is “foot and mouth disease.” EST 1998 © Aug. 2011 rev15092406



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