Vesicular Stomatitis In Texas, New Mexico

For the first time since 1998, equine cases of Vesicular stomatitis have been found in Texas and New Mexico. As of June 24, the infected horses were located on 13 different premises. The sites were placed under quarantine.

Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that causes fever and blisters around the mouth/muzzle, teats and coronary band. Blisters rupture to leave open sores. Coronary band involvement can cause lameness. Lesions may take up to three weeks to resolve. The disease is spread by flies, with sand flies and black flies suspected to be the most prominent. It can also be spread from animal to animal by shared equipment or direct contact.

Horses, cattle, pigs and wild ruminants, like deer and elk, can be affected. It’s rare in sheep and goats, but humans are susceptible. The symptoms in people typically last four to seven days and include sores in and around the mouth and fever.

This is a reportable disease. Owners of horses with suspicious symptoms need to call both their veterinarian and the state veterinarian. A state veterinarian will collect the necessary samples to make a diagnosis, free of charge. Infected animals must be quarantined on the farm until 30 days after all lesions have healed. Recovery from this disease is complete and the disease typically infects about 20% of a ranch’s population.

Contact information: Texas Animal Health Commission, Carla Everett, Information Officer, 800-550-8242,; New Mexico Livestock Board, Steven R. England, DVM, State Veterinarian, 505-841-6161.

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