Colorado, Texas Report Additional VS Cases

Colorado, Texas Report Additional VS Cases

The viral disease can cause blisters and sores in the mouth and on the tongue, muzzle, teats, or hooves of horses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, llamas, and a number of other animals.

Photo: Courtesy Dr. Josie Traub-Dargatz

Animal health officials in Colorado and Texas have reported additional equine cases of vesicular stomatitis (VS) in both states.

The viral disease can cause blisters and sores in the mouth and on the tongue, muzzle, teats, or hooves of horses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, llamas, and a number of other animals. Lesions usually will heal in two or three weeks. Because of the contagious nature of VS and its resemblance to other diseases such as foot and mouth disease, animal health officials urge livestock owners and caretakers to report these symptoms to their veterinarian immediately. Most animals recover well with supportive care by a veterinarian, but some lesions can be painful.

Colorado—The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office has now placed 69 locations under quarantine after horses and one cow tested positive for VS.

Current county totals are:

  • Adams County—Three horses on two premises
  • Boulder County—26 horses on 15 premises
  • Douglas County—Two horses on one premises
  • El Paso County—One horse on one premises
  • Larimer County—Nine horses on four premises
  • Weld County—25 horses and one cow on 19 premises

A map of Colorado counties with confirmed cases is available online.

“Over the past two weeks, our office has been receiving approximately ten reports daily of animals demonstrating clinical signs that are consistent with VS,” said State Veterinarian Keith Roehr, DVM. “Veterinarians have been very observant and diligent to report horses and other livestock that are suspicious of being infected.

"Horse and cattle owners should be aware that insect control is an important tool in the prevention of VS. Most of the cases we have investigated involve horses that have had no history of movement; therefore, controlling black flies and midges are very important in the prevention of the spread of disease.

“The state veterinarian’s office is not recommending that livestock shows be cancelled,” Roehr added. “Instead, it is more important to consider certificates of veterinary inspection prior to or on site observations at entry into events and then insect control measures during before during and after events occur. If event organizers have questions, they can contact our office.”

If transporting an animal to a different state, officials urge Colorado veterinarians and livestock owners should contact the state of destination to ensure that all import requirements are met. A list of contact information for all state veterinarians’ offices is available at www.colorado.gov/ag/animals and click on "Import Requirements."

Texas—Meanwhile, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has received confirmation of six new cases of VS in central Texas horses. The cases were confirmed in the following locations:

  • One premises is located 1 mile east of Manchaca in Travis County
  • One premises is located 5 miles west of Marlin in Falls County (the first case confirmed in this county)
  • One premises is located 10 miles southeast of Bastrop in Bastrop County
  • One premises is located 2 miles north of Bastrop in Bastrop County
  • One premises is located 5 miles north of Del Valle in Travis County
  • One premises is located 8 miles northwest of Bastrop in Bastrop County

The newly identified infected premises are currently quarantined. Affected horses will be monitored by regulatory veterinarians while under quarantine. Premises are eligible for quarantine release 21 days after all lesions have healed.

To date, 42 premises in 10 Texas counties have been confirmed with VS. Thus far, VS-positive animals have been identified in Kinney, Hidalgo, San Patricio, Nueces, Jim Wells, Bastrop, Travis, Guadalupe, Val Verde, and Falls counties. Eight premises in Kinney, Nueces, San Patricio, Hidalgo, Jim Wells counties have been released from quarantine.

Several states have provided the TAHC with information on enhanced entry requirements they are imposing on Texas livestock (including horses) due to the recently announced VS cases in Texas. For information about these movement restrictions, contact the state or country of destination and/or visitwww.tahc.texas.gov/news/2014StateRestrictionsOnTX_VS.pdf.

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