Difficulty in diagnosing animal diseases
Confusion of the symptoms of one animal disease with those of another may lead to insufficient control or the wrong treatment being used for a disease which may become epizootic, or may cause unnecessarily severe treatment for a disease which could be controlled without incurring losses from slaughter. Doubt about the nature of disease in the first instance may lead to delay in treatment, allowing the disease to become more virulent.
Foot-and-mouth disease symptoms have been confused with those of swine vesicular disease, causing unnecessary slaughter (UK December 1972). Confusion of these two diseases the other way round could lead to the outbreak and rapid spread of foot-and-mouth disease. Other diseases which can be confused with foot-and-mouth disease are bluetongue, epizootic haemorrhagic disease, mucosal disease, rinderpest, and malignant catarrhal fever.