Vesicular Stomatitis Detected in Colorado

Released July 18, 2014

Vesicular Stomatitis Detected in Four Horses in Weld County -  Second Case in the US This Year  

LAKEWOOD, Colo. –Colorado has become the second state in the country to have a confirmed case of vesicular stomatitis (VS). Four horses on two Weld County premises tested positive for the disease and have been placed under quarantine. The horses involved in these index cases have no history of travel.

On July 17th, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory reported a positive test on samples submitted from four horses in Weld County. The initial Colorado disease investigation was performed by one of the field veterinarians from the State Veterinarian’s Office at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Previous positive cases of vesicular stomatitis in 2014 have been diagnosed in the southern area of Texas near the Mexico border and more recently in Bastrop and Travis Counties just south of Austin, TX. 

“Vesicular stomatitis can be painful for animals and costly to their owners,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr. “The virus typically causes oral blisters and sores that can be painful causing difficulty in eating and drinking.”

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-hooved animals that was eradicated from the United States in 1929.  The clinical signs of vesicular stomatitis are also similar to those 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 theiry 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 ussing 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."