Since the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) made its last vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) update on Friday, July 12, 2019, the state has received reports of 11 new confirmed VSV cases. Equine premises with confirmed cases since July 12 include:
- Three in Bastrop County;
- One in Hays County;
- Three in Hood County;
- One in Johnson County;
- One in Shackelford County;
- One in Tom Green County; and
- One in Wichita County.
The TAHC has place the newly confirmed premises under quarantine. Regulatory and authorized veterinarians will monitor the affected horses until the premises are eligible for quarantine release 14 days after clinical VSV signs are observed.
To date, 20 premises in 12 Texas counties have confirmed cases of VSV. Of those premises, two have been released from quarantine. Currently affected counties include Bastrop, Coleman, Hays, Hood, Johnson, Shackelford, Taylor, Tom Green, Val Verde, and Wichita counties.
The TAHC will send VSV updates every Friday and report all cases to the Equine Disease Communication Center.
What Texas Veterinarians Need to Know
Several states are imposing enhanced entry requirements on Texas livestock due to the VSV cases. For information, contact the state of destination. If you suspect your client’s horse has VSV, contact your TAHC region office for paperwork and procedures.
What Equine and Cattle Owners Need to Know
VSV is a viral disease that primarily affects horses and cattle. In the past decade, the southwestern and western United States have experienced several VSV outbreaks, which usually occur during the warmer months and often along waterways. VSV normally has an incubation period of two to eight days before the infected animal develops blisters that swell and burst, leaving painful sores. Animals can transmit the virus through direct contact with infected animals; blood-feeding insects can also spread VSV from animal to animal.
If VSV is confirmed, infected animals are quarantined for 14 days after clinical signs of lesions are observed. This short-term quarantine helps prevent animal movement and disease spread to other premises, fairs, or markets.
VSV Preventive Strategies
Even with the best defensive measures, VSV could infect a herd. However, these tips might help protect livestock:
- Control biting flies;
- Keep equids stalled or under a roof at night to reduce exposure to flies;
- Keep stalls clean;
- Feed and water animals from their individual buckets; and
- Don’t visit a ranch that’s under VSV quarantine