Fresh cases of vesicular stomatitis in Texas horses

A horse with vesicular stomatitis shows blisters in the mouth area.
A horse with vesicular stomatitis shows blisters in the mouth area.

Update/clarification: The number of cases of vesicular stomatitis reported in horses in Texas officially stands at 11, according to the July 8 situation report released by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). This number is lower than some earlier reports, which included Texas Animal Health Commission reporting on one or two cases that did not meet the offical case definition. The 11 horses were located across seven premises, one of which, in Kinney County, was released from quarantine on July 8. APHIS reported two additional cases in its latest update, in two head of cattle in Jim Wells County. Counties currently with positive premises are Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Nueces and San Patricio. In all, seven premises remain under quarantine. 

Three further cases of vesicular stomatitis in horses have been found in Texas, apparently unrelated to the five cases identified at one property last month.

The first cases, in Kinney county, were confirmed on May 28 by the Texas Animal Health Commission.

Now, it is reporting that two horses in Hidalgo County, about 24 miles northwest of  Edinburg in southern Texas, were confirmed as having the disease on June 5.

The other case was confirmed on June 9 in another horse in Hidalgo County, this one located three miles northwest of Edinburg.

The two latest outbreaks were unrelated, the commission said.

Both cases tested positive for the New Jersey serotype.

The commission said the newly identified infected premises were currently under quarantine. Affected horses would be monitored by regulatory veterinarians until all lesions have healed and a decision was made to release the quarantine.

This would be a minimum of 21 days.

Vesicular stomatitis 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 heal in two or three weeks.

Because of the contagious nature of the disease, which has symptoms similar to foot and mouth disease, animal health officials urge livestock owners and caretakers to report these symptoms to their veterinarian immediately.

Most animals recover well with supportive care by a veterinarian, but some lesions can be painful.

It is thought that insects are an important vector in the transmission of the disease.

Several states have imposed more stringent restrictions on the movement of stock originating from on Texas as a result of the outbreak.

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