Two more horses confirmed with vesicular stomatitis in Texas

Mouth blisters in a horse with vesicular stomatitis.
Mouth blisters in a horse with vesicular stomatitis.

The Texas Animal Health Commission says it has received confirmation of two new cases of vesicular stomatitis (VS) in horses, bringing the total number of horses known to have contracted the disease in the state to 13.

The latest cases were in Bastrop and Travis counties in central Texas. One property is two miles east of Webberville in Travis County, the other four miles east of Webberville in Bastrop County.

Two cattle were confirmed with the disease on July 8.

To date, 10 properties in seven Texas counties have been confirmed with VS. They are Kinney, Hidalgo, San Patricio, Nueces, Jim Wells, Bastrop and Travis counties.

The Kinney County property, where the first 2014 case was reported, has been released from quarantine.

The newly identified infected premises have been placed under quarantine by the commission and affected horses are being monitored by regulatory veterinarians.

Premises are eligible for quarantine release 21 days after all lesions have healed.

VS 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.

The last confirmed cases in Texas were in 2009.

The commission provided the following details for the 2014 outbreak:

  • It gave confirmation of the nation’s first case of VS this year on May 28, in horses in Kinney County.
  • Two cases of VS in horses in Hidalgo County in South Texas were announced on June 5 and 9. One property is located about 24 miles northwest of Edinburg, the other  three miles northwest of Edinburg.
  • On June 17, two cases of VS were confirmed in horses in San Patricio County in southern Texas. One property is about 7½ miles southeast of Mathis, the other about 7 miles southeast of Mathis.
  • On June 20, a case of VS was announced in Nueces County. The property is 10 miles south of Mathis.
  • On July 3, a case of VS was announced in a horse in Nueces County in southern Texas. The property is about 10 miles south of Mathis.
  • On July 8, the first VS case in Texas cattle was announced. It was detected in two head of  cattle in South Texas, about 6 miles southwest of Mathis.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) provides a weekly update on the VS situation, which can be accesses here.


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