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Vasicula Stomatitis Caseload Climbs-Infected Animals Found in Colorado

Horse Health Press Release

Three states-Texas, New Mexico and Colorado-now have confirmed cases of vesicular stomatitis (VS), a sporadic, naturally occurring disease that causes blister-like lesions, that can affect horses, cattle, swine, goats, deer or other animals. The infection is thought to be transmitted by sand flies or black flies and, while usually not fatal, it can cause animals to go off feed, become lame or lose milk production while lesions heal in the animal's mouth, on the muzzle, teats or above the hooves. Infected animals, and their susceptible herdmates, are restricted to their premises, under a short-term quarantine, to prevent potential animal-to-animal disease transmission.

Colorado State Veterinarian Wayne Cunningham has reported that tests have confirmed infection in two head of cattle and two horses in Las Animas County, in southeastern Colorado, and a horse on a premise in the central part of the state, in Douglas County.

In New Mexico, livestock are quarantined on 11 premises, due to VS infection. These include six premises in the Carlsbad area; three in Valencia County, near Albuquerque; and one in Grant County, in southwestern New Mexico; and one in Cibola County, in the northwestern part of the state.

With the exception of infected cattle on two of the five quarantined premises in Starr County, all cases in Texas involve only horses. Other cases in Texas have been confirmed on one premise each in Reeves, Uvalde, Dimmit, Yoakum and Val Verde counties.

To report potential signs of VS, owners and practitioners should contact their state veterinarian's office, so a disease investigation and appropriate testing can be conducted, at no cost to the livestock owner.

Texas Animal Health Commission -- 1-800-550-8242
New Mexico Livestock Board -- 1-505-841-6161
Colorado Department of Agriculture, State Veterinarian's Office - 1-303-239-4161