stock photo of horse infected with VS
Originally Published August 13, 2015
Horses on four more Nebraska farms have been diagnosed with vesicular stomatitis (VS). A total of five horses are quarantined in two counties in the western part of the state, according to the state’s veterinarian.
VS has been found in Scotts Bluff County and in Sioux County. State veterinarian Dennis Hughes says tests are being conducted on five more suspected cases.
VS is a viral disease that affects horses, cattle, and other livestock. It causes blister-like lesions in the mouth, tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves and teats. As a result of the lesions, infected animals may refuse to eat and drink, which can lead to severe weight loss.
“Vesicular Stomatitis is typically transmitted in two primary ways, biting insects and midges, and nose-to-nose contact between a non-infected and infected animal,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Dennis Hughes. “The best ways to reduce the chance of VS infection is to reduce the population of flies, mosquitoes and other biting insects as much as possible, and to isolate infected animals from uninfected animals.”
Dr. Hughes said due to the finding, the AKSARBEN Stock Show and Rodeo, has enacted a 48-hour vet rule for horses and cattle. He is encouraging other event managers to do the same.
VS has been seen in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota in 2015.
This is the first time the disease has been seen in Nebraska since November 2014.