Nebraska’s state veterinarian confirms the state is the third affected by Vesicular Stomatitis. Cattle have tested positive on two farms in Wheeler County.
“Vesicular Stomatitis is typically transmitted via biting insects and midges. With our recent hard freezes in Nebraska, we are cautiously optimistic we won’t see the disease spreading as rapidly as we would expect in warmer weather,” said state vet, Dr. Dennis Hughes. “Our team is working to determine the source of the disease, and because the disease also can be transmitted by nose to nose contact, we are taking all appropriate measures to protect surrounding livestock herds from the disease.”
There are no reports of horses testing positive with VS in the state.
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. Other animals, including pigs, sheep, goats, and llamas, can also be infected. Horse 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.
There is no vaccine to control the disease.
If you are shipping horses from Nebraska, Dr. Hughes says some states may have additional health requirements for entry into the state. He recommends you plan accordingly.
The first cases of VS were seen in Texas in late May. Colorado followed not long after. The state still has 44 premises quarantined in 13 counties, according to the USDA. Weld County has the majority of the quarantines with seven.
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