Veterinary advice should be sought before applying any treatment or vaccine.

Contagious Ecthyma

Soremouth, Orf, Scabby Mouth, Contagious Pustular Dermatitis

Contagious ecthyma is a contagious, zoonotic viral skin disease that affects camelids worldwide. It is caused by a pox virus that requires a break in the skin to enter the body of the animal.

The disease is characterized by the development of blisters or scabs on the lips, nose, udder and teats, junction of the hoof, and lower legs. Infected animals will also have increased susceptibility to other diseases and will be less willing to eat due to the mouth sores, often resulting in starvation. Lactating females may develop sores on their teats, which can result in premature weaning and mastitis due to pain. Usually the infection will resolve in 1 to 4 weeks, with lasting immunity for several years following. If left alone the condition will usually resolve on its own.

It is transmitted through direct contact with infected animals or contact with contaminated feed, bedding, environment, equipment or handlers that have been exposed to the virus.


Scabs or blisters
Poor condition
Depressed growth


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Laboratory Tests

Treatment Options

Iodine/glycerin solution : Topically applied.
Do not use a brush or utensil to rub the area of the sore mouth lesion, as it will cause the blisters to spread.
Caution!- Wear gloves when handling infected animals, as it is contagious to humans.


  • A live vaccine is available, however it should only be used if the virus is already present in the herd, otherwise it will introduce the virus.


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