Published Date: 2009-06-13 12:00:07
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Vesicular stomatitis, equine - USA: (TX)
Archive Number: 20090613.2188
VESICULAR STOMATITIS, EQUINE - USA: (TEXAS)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 12 Jun 2009
Source: Texas Animal Health Commission News Release [edited]
Nation's 1st Case of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) for 2009 Detected in Texas
The nation's 1st case of vesicular stomatitis (VS) for 2009 has been
detected in a horse in Starr County, in far south Texas. VS is a
sporadically occurring virus that is endemic to the United States.
Signs of the disease include blisters, lesions and sloughing of the
skin on the muzzles, tongue, teats and above the hooves of
susceptible livestock, which include horses, cattle, sheep, pigs,
deer and some other species of animals.
"The most recent outbreak was in 2006 limited to Wyoming only, where
17 horses and a dozen cattle on 13 premises were confirmed to have
the virus," said Dr. Bob Hillman, Texas' state veterinarian and head
of the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), the state's livestock
and poultry health regulatory agency. "To prevent the spread or
introduction of infection, many states and countries will place
additional entry requirements or restrictions on the movement of
animals from affected states, or portions of the state. Call the
state or country of destination before moving livestock, to ensure
that all entry requirements can be met. Do not risk shipments being
turned away, or worse, spreading disease and facing legal action by
animal health authorities."
"Often horses are the signal, or 1st, animals to be confirmed with
vesicular stomatitis when the virus is active. If the blisters and
lesions are seen in cattle, sheep, pigs or other cloven-hooved
animals, our 1st concern is a possible introduction of foot-and-mouth
disease, the most costly and destructive foreign animal disease.
Horses are not susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease, but anytime
blisters or unusual sores are seen, animals should be examined by a
veterinarian as soon as possible."
"Move sick animals away from the remainder of the herd to protect
against disease spread," urged Dr. Hillman. "Do not move sick animals
from the premises, and call your veterinarian or the nearest Texas
Animal Health Commission area office, or the Austin headquarters at
800-550-8242. Laboratory testing to confirm infection can be run at
no charge to the livestock owner.
"Vesicular stomatitis is painful for affected animals, but usually,
the lesions will heal within 2 weeks to a month. For some severe
cases, owners may elect to have an infected animal euthanized, to put
an end to the suffering. In dairies, VS infection can lead to a
substantial loss of production," said Dr. Hillman. Treatment of
VS-infected animals consists of supportive care, and antibiotics may
be needed to prevent secondary infections in the open sores. Animal
health officials in nearly all states, including Texas, require
VS-infected animals and their herd mates to be quarantined until at
least 21 days after all lesions have healed. A follow-up examination
of the animals by the state veterinarian's office is required prior
to quarantine release.
VS outbreaks are extremely sporadic, and years may lapse between
cases. Sand flies and black flies are thought to play a role in the
virus transmission, so controlling insects is important. In 2005, the
VS outbreak involved livestock on at least 445 premises in 9 states,
including Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico,
Texas, Utah and Wyoming. In 2004, affected animals were detected in 8
counties each in Texas and New Mexico and in 22 Colorado counties.
Before the 2004 outbreak, VS had been "silent" since 1998, when
Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas had cases.
More information about VS and a map showing the location of Starr
County in Texas are available on the TAHC web site at:
[Vesicular stomatitis virus is one of those interesting diseases that
emerges every once in a while without much warning until it bursts
uninvited into our livestock population. It does not occur every
year, but in the past several years it has been almost yearly.
The problem with vesicular stomatitis is twofold. One, there is
inevitably a disruption of production in cattle; not only will the
sick animal produce less, but disease management tactics must be
very stringent. The 2nd problem is that the symptomatology is similar
to that of foot and mouth disease (FMD), with which it can easily be
confused (though horses are resistant to FMD and susceptible to VS).
In this case, the diagnosis of the disease in an equine 1st
forestalls any worry about FMD.
According to the OIE, symptoms can be summarized as follows:
- excessive salivation
- blanched raised or broken vesicles of various sizes in the mouth:
Horses: upper surface of the tongue, surface of the lips and around
nostrils, corners of the mouth and the gums
Cattle: tongue, lips, gums, hard palate, and sometimes muzzle and
around the nostrils
- Lesions involving feet of horses and cattle are not exceptional
- Teat lesions occur in dairy herds
- Foot lesions and lameness are frequent in pigs
- Recovery in around 2 weeks
- Complication: loss of production and mastitis in dairy herds due
to secondary infections, lameness in horses
We would like to know which of the 2 strains this one is. - Mod.TG]