The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) reports confirmed Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) in horses on a Kinney County premises on June 21, 2019. The National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) confirmed the virus as the Indiana serotype.

Vesicular stomatitis virus

This is the first cases of VSV reported in the US this year.

The horses were tested after the owner observed lesions on the horses’ muzzles and contacted a veterinary practitioner. TAHC has quarantined the premises, and there is no known exposure to other horses. The quarantine period for premises with suspect or confirmed VSV cases is 14 days from the onset of lesions in the last affected animal on the premises.

VSV 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 will heal in two or three weeks. Because of the contagious nature of VSV and its resemblance to other diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), animal health officials urge livestock owners and caretakers to report these symptoms to their veterinarian immediately. Most animals recover with supportive care by a veterinarian.

“Known competent vectors for transmission of VSV include black flies, sand flies, and biting midges,” said Dr. Andy Schwartz, TAHC Executive Director. “Livestock owners should implement best practices to limit livestock exposure to insects.”

“If you suspect your animal has VSV, notify your private veterinarian immediately,” said Dr. Schwartz. “VSV is not highly contagious to people but it can cause flu-like illness if infected saliva gets into an open wound, eyes or mouth. People handling potentially infected animals should wear gloves for protection, and talk with a physician if they have questions.

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