APHIS Releases Final Summary of 2012 Vesicular Stomatitis Cases

APHIS Releases Final Summary of 2012 Vesicular Stomatitis Cases

VS causes blisters to form in the animal's mouth, on teats, or along the hooves, resulting in excessive salivation, lameness, or oozing sores.

Photo: Brian McCluskey

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) released last week the final summary of the vesicular stomatitis (VS) outbreak that occurred in New Mexico and Colorado in 2012. The final quarantines connected to the outbreak were released in late December, according to the summary.

The 2012 VS outbreak began April 30, 2012, when two New Mexico horses tested positive for the disease. At the time, state veterinarian Dave Fly, DVM, told TheHorse.com that those horses were located on a single premises about a mile outside the town of Tularosa. That facility was placed under quarantine.

By July, more than 20 New Mexico horses residing in six counties had tested positive for the disease.

According to the APHIS final summary, a total of 49 New Mexico horses residing on 34 premises in 10 counties tested positive for VS in 2012. The final quarantines had been released as of Dec. 24.

Authorities confirmed the first of Colorado's two VS cases in 2012 in early August. State authorities placed the two affected premises under quarantine, and both were released by early October.

A viral, foreign animal disease that occurs sporadically in the United States, VS usually appears in southwestern states. The disease, thought to be transmitted by sand flies and black flies, can affect horses, cattle, swine, and occasionally sheep, goats, and deer. It causes blisters to form in the animal's mouth, on teats, or along the hooves, resulting in excessive salivation, lameness, or oozing sores.

VS can incubate for two to eight days before clinical signs appear. It is rarely fatal and usually lasts about two weeks before clearing up.

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, news editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in three-day eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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