Hoof: a curved covering of horn that protects the front of or encloses the ends
of the digits of an ungulate mammal and that corresponds to a nail or claw.
Cloven hoof: a foot divided into two parts at its distal extremity.
Ungulate: having hooves.
"Foot-and-mouth disease" vs "hoof and mouth
It has been usual in North America to refer to
foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) as "hoof and mouth
disease". Ungulates have hooves (which are a protective covering
of the end of the digits) on their feet. Foot-and-mouth disease does not infect
the hooves, but rather the tissues close to them. This may result in loosening
of the hoof from the surrounding tissue. Since the hoof consists of dead
material it cannot become infected with a virus. Hence the name "hoof
and mouth disease" would be inaccurate.
Foot-and-mouth disease is the internationally
recognized (English language) name of the disease and Foot-and-mouth disease
virus is the species name designated by the International
Committee for the Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV).
N.J. Knowles, 03 March 2001