Background: Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak occurs annually among cattle in Tamilnadu, however increased morbidity and mortality was reported in the year 2013 despite preventive measure by the Department of Animal husbandry. Siddha System of medicine is popular and extensively practiced in Tamilnadu. A study was carried out with the objective to understand the Ethno-veterinary practices adopted during an epidemic outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease among cattle in several villages of Nagapattinam district in the month of December 2013. Methodology: Cattle farmers were interviewed using a semi–structured questionnaire to capture details on number of cows owned, number affected, presenting signs and symptoms, interventions done, details of person who treated, details of medicines administered including external medicines, dose and duration, outcome of treatment and economic impact during the second fortnight of December 2013 along with photo documentation wherever required. Results: Institutional Ethno-Veterinarian’s herbal intervention had a marginal edge over the traditional healers intervention both in adult cattle and in calves. The time of commencement of treatment was critical, the failures mainly attributed to late intervention, especially when the cattle were severely affected. Average mortality rate due to the outbreak stood at around 9% among adults and 27% among calves and average loss in productivity stood at Rs. 690/- per cow. Ethno veterinary intervention was found to be significantly associated with good prognosis and survival (P value is 0.00001 significant at P<0.05). Conclusion: Early intervention with herbal drugs may be preventive of mortality and may also be protective from development of disease.
Key words: cattle farmers, epidemic, Foot and mouth disease, herbs, morbidity, mortality and economic impact, traditional intervention.