Bluetongue is a viral disease transmitted by biting midges. It affects all ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats & deer) and camelids (llamas & alpacas).
What are the clinical signs of the Bluetongue virus?
crusty erosions around the nostrils and muzzle
redness of the mouth, eyes, nose
reddening of the skin above the hoof
reddening and erosions on the teats
Most adult animals show only mild clinical signs, or show no signs of disease at all.
In Sheep/ Goats (generally much more severely affected than cattle)
ulcers in the mouth
discharge of mucus and drooling from mouth and nose
swelling of the mouth, head and neck and the coronary band (where the skin of the leg meets the horn of the foot)
red skin as a result of blood collecting beneath the surface
Can Bluetongue spread to humans?
It does not affect people or food safety, but outbreaks can result in prolonged animal movement and trade restrictions.
How do I reduce the risk of spreading Bluetongue virus?
Monitor livestock closely, being vigilant is key in reducing the spread of the disease
Increase your biosecurity, maintaining good standards of cleanliness across all your farming practices
Be cautious if buying livestock from Europe, a pre-movement test to ensure the animals are clear of BTV is likely to be needed
What should I do if I suspect Bluetongue in my animals?
Contact your vet if you suspect your animal(s) might be infected. At the moment there is no vaccine to protect your animals from the BTV-3 strain. Isolate any animals showing clinical signs and call Synergy immediately. If we suspect Bluetongue we will need to report to APHA.
Written By Ed Powell-Jackson, Veterinary Surgeon