Oklahoma Identifies its 2019 Equine VS Index Case
According to the Equine Disease Communication Center, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) confirmed a horse in Tillman County, Oklahoma, as the state’s first 2019 positive case of vesicular stomatitis (VS) on July 29.

The mare’s owner noticed lesions on the horse’s mouth on July 24 and had her examined by a veterinarian, who then reported the suspected lesions to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture (ODAFF). An ODAFF veterinarian submitted samples to NVSL. The horse was placed under official quarantine.

Animal health authorities have confirmed other cases of VS in Coleman, Kerr, Kinney, and Tom Green counties in Texas; La Plata, Larimer, and Weld counties in Colorado; and Los Alamos, Sandoval, and Valencia counties in New Mexico.

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 the virus’ 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.

“Vesicular stomatitis has been confirmed only in the Western Hemisphere,” APHIS said on its website. “It is known to be an endemic disease in the warmer regions of North, Central, and South America, and outbreaks of the disease in other temperate geographic parts of the hemisphere occur sporadically. The Southwestern and Western United States have experienced a number of vesicular stomatitis outbreaks, (and) the most recent and largest VS outbreak occurred in 2015. Outbreaks usually occur during the warmer months, often along waterways.”

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 its requirements.