Scabby mouth in lambs is very common in New Zealand. It is caused by a virus that invades wounds around the mouth such as those caused by thistles, producing extensive swelling and reddening of the skin and an unsightly scab. When this falls off the virus survives in the soil to contaminate the next victim. The disease can also affect humans.
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University of Otago, Virus Research Unit, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
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