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Third Colorado property confirmed with vesicular stomatitis

The tongue of the Las Animas horse with vesicular stomatitis. Horses with the condition show blanched raised or broken vesicles around the upper surface of the tongue, surface of the lips and around nostrils, corners of the mouth and the gums.

The tongue of a horse with vesicular stomatitis. Horses with the condition show blanched raised or broken vesicles around the upper surface of the tongue, surface of the lips and around nostrils, corners of the mouth and the gums.

A third property in Colorado has been confirmed with vesicular stomatitis, according to the state’s department of agriculture.

The latest property is in Boulder County and is now under quarantine. The number of horses affected has not been disclosed.

The announcement follows confirmation last week of four horses with the disease on two Weld County properties. Three of the affected horses were on one property and one on the other.

The department said several other premises surrounding the Boulder County property are being investigated for cases.

Colorado is the second state, after Texas, to report cases of the disease this year.

In all – excluding the latest Boulder County report – there have been 15 horses and two cattle across the two states diagnosed with the disease, according to the latest update from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, part of the US Department of Agriculture.

All cases confirmed by the agency so far involve the New Jersey serotype.

Vesicular stomatitis can be painful for animals and costly to their owners. The virus typically causes oral blisters and sores that can be painful, causing difficulty in eating and drinking.

Equids, mules, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, pigs, and camelids are all susceptible to the disease.

Clinical signs include vesicles, erosions, and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, teats, and above the hooves of affected livestock – symptoms similar to those of foot and mouth disease.

Vesicles are usually seen only early in the course of the disease. The transmission of VS is not completely understood, but components include insect vectors, mechanical transmission, and livestock movement.

While rare, human cases can occur, usually among those who handle infected animals. In humans the disease can cause flu-like symptoms and only rarely includes lesions or blisters.

Authorities says that veterinarians and livestock owners who suspect an animal could have VS or any other vesicular disease should immediately contact state or federal animal health authorities.

Livestock with clinical signs of the disease are isolated until they are healed and determined to be of no further threat for disease spread. There are no vaccines approved by the US Department of Agriculture for VS.

Strict fly control is an important factor to inhibit the transmission of the disease. Authorities also recommend against transferring feeding equipment, cleaning tools or health care equipment between herds.

 

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