A horse with vesicular stomatitis.
South Dakota’s Animal Industry Board says two cases of vesicular stomatitis have been confirmed in livestock in the western part of the state.
The main symptoms of VS are slobbering, blisters, sores and sloughing of skin in the mouth, on the tongue, muzzle, inside the ears and on the coronary band above the hooves. The sores can be painful causing difficulty eating and drinking. Lameness and weight loss may also occur.
Many animals recover after a couple of weeks from the disease, but if the vesicles become infected, officials say the recovery process, which includes treatment of the horse’s symptoms, may take longer. Other animals, including sheep, cows, goats, and llamas, can also be affected.
Flies and midges are the insect vectors responsible for transmitting VS making fly control the most important step in preventing the disease, according to veterinarians. The virus can also be spread through direct contact with infected livestock and indirectly through contact with contaminated equipment and tack.
South Dakota is the sixth state affected by VS this year. Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico have also had cases. Texas recently released all of its quarantines.