Vesicular Stomatitis Virus found in Horses in Arizona

RELEASE DATE: May 27, 2010

The Arizona Department of Agriculture has confirmed Vesicular Stomatitis Virus in horses on a premises in Cochise County. The case-positive premises where VSV was discovered has been quarantined. This disease causes blister-like lesions to form in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves, and teats. These blisters swell and break, leaving raw tissue that is so painful that infected animals generally refuse to eat or drink and show signs of lameness. Severe weight loss usually follows, and in dairy cows, a severe drop in milk production commonly occurs. Affected dairy cattle can appear to be normal and will continue to eat about half of their feed intake.

Why is this important?

While vesicular stomatitis can cause economic losses to livestock producers, it is a particularly significant disease because its outward signs are similar to (although generally less severe than) those of foot-and-mouth disease, a foreign animal disease of cloven-hoofed animals that was eradicated from the United States in 1929. The clinical signs of vesicular stomatitis are also similar to those of swine vesicular disease, another foreign animal disease. The only way to tell these diseases apart is through laboratory tests.

South Carolina Import Restrictions for VS (R27-1013E)

Wild and domesticated hoofed animals, including but not limited to bovine, equine, porcine, ovine, caprine and cervidae, are prohibited entry into South Carolina if they have been exposed to Vesicular Stomatitis within thirty (30) days immediately preceding their entry into South Carolina, or if they originated from an area within ten (10) miles of a premise where VS has been diagnosed in the thirty (30) days immediately preceding entry into South Carolina. All animals described above which originate in a state or area in which VS has been diagnosed must have the following statement written by the accredited veterinarian issuing the CVI:

“All animals identified on the certificate have been examined and found to be free of VS. During the past thirty (30) days, these animals have not been exposed to VS nor located within ten (10) miles of an area where VS has been diagnosed.”


USDA APHIS website on VS