I am sure we have all heard about Vesicular Stomatitis, VS for short. Well I don’t know about you but I am getting tired about all the press and emails. This is a virus transmitted chiefly by black flies and is usually not life threatening—good luck controlling those flies! Yes, it is and inconvenience; yes, many shows and events have been cancelled to avoid the spread of the virus (vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease caused by two distinct serotypes of vesicular stomatitis virus—New Jersey and Indiana. Vesiculation, ulceration, and erosion of the oral and nasal mucosa and epithelial surface of the tongue, coronary bands, and teats are typically seen in clinical cases, along with crusting lesions of the muzzle, ventral abdomen, and sheath. Clinical disease has been seen in cattle, horses, and pigs and very rarely in sheep, goats, and llamas. Serologic evidence of exposure has been found in many species, including cervids, nonhuman primates, rodents, birds, dogs, antelope, and bats – Merck).
We all have seen these things come through the front range, from Pigeon Fever to other oddities in the past. Should we panic? No. Should we use common sense and maybe keep our trailering down to a minimum? Probably yes (cause an infected fly can hide out in your trailer) and infect a barn, the trail you went to, or a nearby herd.
My horse and just a handful of others, not the entire herd, have had VS. Some sheath swelling here, a bit of blisters there, few ran temperatures, if you have a healthy horse most likely he or she will just be fine. So please educate yourself on the virus, learn to recognize the symptoms and get that Health Certificate within 5 days of traveling anywhere that may require it while this outbreak is going on.
For more on VS join CSU this Thursday, August 14th online:
Join CSU for a Live Google+ Hangout from 6-7 p.m. to learn about vesicular stomatitis and disease prevention from veterinarians at Colorado State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
A Google+ Hangout is much like a webinar, offering the chance to gain information and ask questions from your personal computer or device; all you need is Internet service. To join the discussion, click here.