Vesicular stomatitis outbreak infects nearly 170 horses

| 8 August 2014 8:11 am
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.

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 total of 168 equines have been infected with vesicular stomatitis in Texas and Colorado since the disease outbreak began in May.

Since last week’s situation report issued by federal authorities, 41 new positive premises have been identified in Colorado. Forty of them involved infected horses and one involved cattle.

Six new equine premises in Texas were confirmed with the disease.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, a division of the Department of Agriculture, gave the following breakdown of affected premises in Texas:

  • Bastrop County – 4 horses on 3 premises.
  • Falls County (newly affected county) – 2 horses on 1 premises.
  • Travis County – 2 horses on 2 premises.

The August 6 report gave the following breakdown for Colorado:

  • Adams County (newly affected county) – 3 horses on 2 premises.
  • Boulder County – 26 horses on 15 premises.
  • Douglas County (newly affected county) – 2 horses on 1 premises.
  • Larimer County – 9 horses on 4 premises.
  • Weld County – 25 horses and 1 cow on 19 premises.

APHIS said that, to date, a total of 110 positive premises have been identified in the two states. Colorado has 69 premises and Texas 41 premises.

There have been six counties affected in Colorado (Adams, Boulder, Douglas, El Paso, Larimer, and Weld Counties) and 10 counties affected in Texas (Bastrop, Falls, Guadalupe, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Kinney, Nueces, San Patricio, Travis, and Val Verde Counties).

Eight premises in Texas (1 in Kinney County, 2 in Nueces County, 2 in San Patricio County, 2 in Hidalgo County, and 1 in Jim Wells County) have been released from quarantine and there are currently 4 other premises in Texas and 11 in Colorado on 21-day countdown to quarantine release.

Of the 168 horses confirmed as infected since the outbreak began, 157 are currently still considered positive, along with three cattle.

Vesicular stomatitis 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 contagious nature of the disease, which has symptoms similar to foot and mouth disease, animal health officials urge livestock owners and caretakers to report these symptoms to their veterinarian immediately.

Most animals recover well with supportive care by a veterinarian, but some lesions can be painful.

It is thought that insects are an important vector in the transmission of the disease.


Category: News

About the Author ()

Daily horse news and information - only on! Got a story lead? Email

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. redmm97 says:

    Currently, we are attending the local county fair. Our vet came by last night and said that the numbers were up to over 100 premises and over 150 horses, just in Colorado. AND, that’s not all the cases, just those that had been confirmed. The confirming is running at least a week to ten days behind, just for starters.

    Because Ames said our original blood draw was not conclusive, we had to have a second draw. When the vet came out we had two more infected horses so he drew blood on all three. Well, the blood has been sitting in our vet’s refrigerator since July 31st, waiting for the state vet’s office to pick it up and send it off. Because it is an international disease, only the State Vet can handle the case and the samples. (Don’t you just love bureaucracies?) That means that our cases, which started around July 20th, have not yet been recorded – either the premise or the horses. That’s just one of many stories surrounding this fiasco.

    Interestingly enough, probably the safest place in Boulder County, as this point, is the Fairgrounds. They are fogging twice a day and when I saw the Fairgrounds Mgr. this morning he was walking down our barn aisle with a hand sprayer doing the aisles, etc. However, today I sat with some cattle folks and all the dairy folks left their stock at home. The have postponed their annual competition to October, after a hard frost.

    Anyway, I know that it is a huge problem but they really have not handled it well, either. AND, since we get all these nice diseases from Mexico, when are we going to learn?


Pin It on Pinterest