Vesicular Stomatitis: What You Should Know

Vasicular StomatitusThe Texas Animal Health Commission received confirmation of a new case of Vesicular Stomatitis in horses in Waco. This year, 58 horses in 12 Texas counties have been confirmed with VS. Currently affected counties include: Bastrop, Falls, Guadalupe, McLennan, Travis and Williamson counties.

Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that primarily affects horses and cattle. Human can also become infected when handling these animals, but it is rare. While VS is not generally fatal, it can still cause economic losses to livestock producers.

What to look for:

The incubation period for vesicular stomatitis ranges from 2 – 8 days. Excessive salivation is usually the first sign of the disease. Examination of the mouth may reveal blister-like lesions on the lips, gums, tongue or dental pad. These blisters may also form on the lips, nostrils, coronary band, prepuce, vulva and teats. As the blisters swell they cause discomfort resulting a reluctance to eat or drink.

It is not known how VS is transmitted but insects, mechanical transmission and movement of animals are all factors.

Your veterinarian can test for VS using serum samples from swabs of the lesions. A diagnosis can usually be made in a week or less.

What to do:

There is no specific treatment or cure for vesicular stomatitis. If a diagnosis is made the following procedures are recommended:

  •  Contact State Animal Health authorities and report it.
  • Quarantine affected animals.
  • Do not move animals for at least 21 days after lesions have healed.
  • Implement an insect control program to reduce the possible spread of the disease.

Source: Texas Horsemen’s News, APHIS Fact Sheet

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