Vesicular stomatitis on horse's tongue. photo © Jeanne M. Rankin, DVM
Texas authorities are confirming another case of the highly contagious viral disease, vesicular stomatitis (VS) in a horse. This is the state’s 12th case since the end of May.
The Texas Animal Health Commission reports the horse is located in in Nueces County in South Texas. The property is located 10 miles south of Mathis, TX. The property is under quarantine.
Six premises have infected horses in four Texas counties. All tested positive for the New Jersey serotype.
On May 28, officials announced the first cases of vesicular stomatitis in the U.S. for 2014. The disease was last seen in Texas in 2009.
The first five horses confirmed with the infection were on pasture in a group of rescue horses located in Kinney County, according to officials. Cases have also been confirmed in San Patricio County and Hidalgo County.
Most animals recover after a couple of weeks, 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 cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and llamas, can also be infected.
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.
While rare, humans can also be infected with the disease when handling affected animals. Symptoms are flu-like, with fever, muscle-aches and headaches.
Insects are thought to play an important role in the transmission of the virus, including sand and black flies.