vesicular stomatitis

Horses residing on a premises in Kinney County, Texas, tested positive for vesicular stomatitis (VS) on June 21, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) reported June 24.

The National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) confirmed the virus as the Indiana serotype.

These are the first cases of VS diagnosed in U.S. horses this year.

The horses were tested after the owner observed lesions on the horses’ muzzles and contacted a veterinary practitioner. The TAHC has quarantined the premises; there is no known exposure to other horses. The quarantine period for premises with suspect or confirmed VS cases is 14 days from the onset of lesions in the last affected animal on the premises.

No other cases of VS have been identified in the immediate area or elsewhere in the state.

“Known competent vectors for transmission of VSV (vasticular stomatitis virus) include black flies, sand flies, and biting midges,” said Andy Schwartz, DVM, TAHC executive director. “Livestock owners should implement best practices to limit livestock exposure to insects.

“If you suspect your animal has VSV, notify your private veterinarian immediately,” he added. “VSV is not highly contagious to people but it can cause flu-like illness if infected saliva gets into an open wound, eyes or mouth. People handling potentially infected animals should wear gloves for protection, and talk with a physician if they have questions.”

vesicular stomatitis

VS 101

Vesicular stomatitis virus 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 heal in two or three weeks.

Because of VS’ contagious nature 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 with supportive care by a veterinarian.

Some states and other countries might restrict movement of, or impose additional requirements for, susceptible animals from states having known VS cases. Before moving livestock, contact the state of destination for their requirements.