Lesions caused by Vesicular Stomatitis.
Colorado’s state veterinarian announced Saturday that 104 Vesicular Stomatitis cases have been confirmed and quarantined.
The affected counties include Adams, Boulder, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, and Weld. Two VSV-positive premises are in Jefferson County.
All of the cases involve equines except for two. There is one positive-VSV cow in Weld County and one VSV-positive cow in Boulder County.
State Veterinarian Dr. Keith Roehr says, “… insect control is an important tool in the prevention of VS. Most of the cases we have investigated involve horses that have had no history of movement; therefore, controlling black flies and midges are very important in the prevention of the spread of disease.”
There is no vaccine to control the disease.
Colorado is the second state to have confirmed cases of VS. The first cases were seen in Texas in late May.
Texas reports 42 locations in ten Texas counties with confirmed cases. Affected counties include Kinney, Hidalgo, San Patricio, Nueces, Jim Wells, Bastrop, Travis, Guadalupe, Val Verde, and Falls counties. Eight locations have been released from quarantine including the original premises in Kinney County, two locations in Nueces County, two cases in San Patricio County, two in Hidalgo County, and one in Jim Wells County.
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. Symptoms include blisters and sores in the mouth, tongue, muzzle, teats, sheath, or hooves. A horse will show signs of fever and may show other symptoms within two to eight days. Other animals, including cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and llamas, can also be infected.
The disease can move from animal to animal by contact or exposure to saliva or fluid from ruptured lesions.
Owners are urged to report symptoms to their vets immediately since VS is highly contagious and resembles other diseases, such as foot and mouth disease.
If shipping your horse nationally or internationally contact the USDA APHIS Colorado office at 303-231-5385 to determine if there are any movement restrictions or testing requirements for where your horse is traveling.