Vesicular Stomatitis Outbreak Continues Spreading in Horses Lesions caused by Vesicular Stomatitis.  

Vesicular Stomatitis Outbreak Continues Spreading in Horses

The Vesicular Stomatitis outbreak continues its spread among horses in Colorado and Texas with more than 340 affected since May.
Although first seen in Texas, the majority of cases have been in Colorado. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published an update on August 20th revealing 55 new premises were quarantined between the two states since the week prior.
The breakdown by county and horse numbers are below.
– Adams County, Colorado – 8 horses on 7 premises
– Boulder County, Colorado – 13 horses on 12 premises
– Jefferson County, Colorado– 5 horses on 5 premises
– Larimer County, Colorado – 19 horses on 18 premises
– Weld County, Colorado – 15 horses on 11 premises
– Bastrop County, Texas – 2 horses on 2 premises
A total of eight counties have been affected in Colorado including Adams, Boulder, Broomfield, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, and Weld. Two properties have been released from quarantine. One is Boulder and one is Weld. Forty-nine are counting down the 21-days to the quarantine release.
Eleven Texas counties have had confirmed cases including Bastrop, Falls, Guadalupe, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Kinney, Nueces, San Patricio, Travis, Val Verde, and Williamson. Eleven premises have been released, while 30 remain under state quarantine.

Colorado 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.

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.

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 not only contagious but also resembles other diseases, such as foot and mouth disease.