No New Cases of Vesicular Stomatitis Reported

Three horses all on a single premise in Cochise County, Ariz., remain the only horses in the country currently diagnosed with vesicular stomatitis (VS) virus.

VS is a disease that causes blister-like lesions in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves, prepuce, and teats of livestock in the southwestern United States.

"Arizona hasn't had a case since 2005," reported John Hunt, DVM, from the Arizona Department of Agriculture.

The three horses were all diagnosed at the end of May and no new cases have been reported. The United States Department of Agriculture is monitoring the VS situation and regularly updated information regarding the number of positive horses and positive premises in Arizona and other states is available online.


The breed(s) of the horses diagnosed with VS is not available.

One question in Kentucky is how VS is anticipated to impact the horse-racing industry.

According to Rusty Ford, equine program manager from the Office of the State Veterinarian, "Coming from Arizona there will be minimal impact on racing."

But Ford did indicate that other events, such as the upcoming World Equine Games, also need to be considered.

Strict movement/travel restrictions have been formulated by numerous states, including Kentucky. To be permitted entry into Kentucky, livestock, including horses, must:

  • Be tested and found negative to VS using a USDA approved test with the sample collected during the 10-day period prior to the animal's arrival in Kentucky;
  • Have an entry permit issued by the Office of the State Veterinarian recorded on the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection; and,
  • Be accompanied by a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection indicating that examination of the animals occurred during the five-day period prior to arrival in Kentucky.


"Each state is a little different," said Hunt in reference to movement restrictions. Owners are advised to check each state's requirements prior to traveling.

For more information on VS visit the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.

About the Author

Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she's worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from Learn More