The New Mexico Livestock Board is working with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services (APHIS-VS) on investigating two cases of vesicular stomatitis (VS), one in a Grant County horse and another in an Otero County horse.

An infectious viral disease of livestock, VS typically causes painful blister-like lesions on the lips, nostrils, tongue, coronary bands, and teats. Humans can become infected when handling animals, contaminated materials, tissues, blood or viral cultures.

The USDA-APHIS-VS notified the New Mexico state veterinarian on April 29 that VS had been confirmed in Grant County. The affected horse resides in a herd of four equids, and 12 cows are also housed on the premises. There is no recent history of livestock movement from the premises. All livestock on the property are under quarantine by order of the state veterinarian.

Additionally, one horse on an Otero County premises also tested positive for VS. The affected horse, an unaffected horse, and nine cows are under quarantine at that location. There is no recent history of livestock movement from the premises.

It is not fully known how VSV spreads, but veterinarians believe transmission includes insect vectors, mechanical transmission, and movement of animals. The virus primarily affects cattle, horses, and pigs, causing blister-like lesions that can be painful enough to limit the animal’s eating and drinking. Affected animals typically recover in about two weeks. Quarantine of infected and exposed animals, isolation of lesioned animals, and good biosecurity and fly control practices are essential elements to control the disease.