Two N.M. Horses Test Positive for Vesicular Stomatitis

Two horses in Otero County, N.M., tested positive for the reportable disease vesicular stomatitis on April 30.
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Two horses in Otero County, N.M., tested positive for the reportable disease vesicular stomatitis on April 30, according to New Mexico State Veterinarian Dave Fly, DVM. The horses, who are currently under veterinary care, reside on a single premises about a mile outside the town of Tularosa, and the facility is currently under quarantine, he said.

"We are doing a surveillance of all livestock within a one mile (radius)," he said. "It’s not a very high-density livestock area. We have no other cases. It’s an unusual place for us to find this (disease)."

Vesicular stomatitis (VS) is a viral disease that occurs sporadically in the United States and usually appears in southwestern states. The disease, thought to be transmitted by sand flies and black flies, can affect horses, cattle, and 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.

Fly said the owners of the affected horses noted lesions on the animals shortly after turning them out into a new pasture

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, 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 eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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