Vesicular Stomatitis Confirmed in Boulder Co., Colorado

Vesicular Stomatitis Confirmed in Boulder Co., Colorado

The clinical signs of the disease include vesicles, erosions, and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, teats, and above the hooves of affected livestock.

Photo: Brian McCluskey

A Boulder County premises is under quarantine after equine vesicular stomatitis (VS) was confirmed there, and a number of other premises in the surrounding area are being investigated.

Last week, four horses on two Weld County premises were placed under quarantine after testing positive for VS. Colorado is the second state in the country to have VS; previous positive cases in 2014 have been diagnosed in Texas.

“Strict fly control is an important factor to inhibit the transmission of vesicular stomatis," said Colorado State Veterinarian Keith Roehr, DVM. "One of the most important disease prevention practices … is insect control for both the premises and the individual animals.”

Equids, mules, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, pigs, and camelids are all susceptible to VS. The clinical signs of the disease include vesicles, erosions, and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, teats, and above the hooves of affected livestock. Vesicles are usually only seen early in the course of the disease. The transmission of VS is not completely understood but components include insect vectors, mechanical transmission, and livestock movement.

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.

Veterinarians and livestock owners who suspect an animal could have VS or any other vesicular disease should immediately contact state or federal animal health authorities. Livestock with clinical signs of VS are isolated until they are healed and determined to be of no further threat for disease spread. There are no USDA approved vaccines for VS.

Additional information regarding the current location of cases and other important updates is available online.

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