A horse with tongue lesions.
The number of premises in Colorado under quarantine due to vesicular stomatitis (VS) continue to rise. The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s state vet has placed seven locations under quarantine after horses tested positive for the disease.
The quarantined locations are located in Boulder and Weld counties and additional test results are pending in other counties, according to officials.
There is not a vaccine to control the disease, but “strict fly control is an important factor to inhibit the transmission of Vesicular Stomatis,” according to State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr.
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 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.
While rare, human cases of VS can occur, usually among those who handle infected animals. In humans, the disease can cause flu-like symptoms and only rarely includes lesions or blisters.
Colorado is the second state in the U.S. to have confirmed cases of VS. Cases of vesicular stomatitis have been diagnosed on 13 properties in eight Texas counties since late May.