VSV Update 7/12/2019: Colorado Department of Agriculture
Colorado has become the third state in the country to have a confirmed case of vesicular stomatitis (VSV).
On July 3rd, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory reported positive test results on samples submitted from two horses in Weld County. The two horses reside on separate locations in Weld County and have been placed under quarantine. The initial Colorado disease investigation was completed by a field veterinarian from the State Veterinarian’s Office at the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
**Update July 12, 2019:
Both initial (July 3) premises in Colorado are private residences with horses as the only livestock species present. The index premises has 1 of 2 horses presenting with lesions on the sheath and no history of recent movements on or off the premises. The subsequent positive premises has 1 of 3 horses presenting with lip and tongue lesions with a history of only pleasure riding nearby the premises 2 weeks prior and no other recent movements. There are no additional animals at either location currently showing clinical signs of VSV. Both premises are under state quarantine and will remain so until at least 14 days from the onset of lesions in the last affected animal on the premises.
Previous positive cases of vesicular stomatitis in 2019 have been diagnosed in Kinney and Tom Green counties in Texas and in Sandoval County in New Mexico. Please see the USDA APHIS Veterinary Services website to read the current situation report for all confirmed cases in the US.
What Veterinarians Need to Know
Report any cases that have clinical signs suggestive of VSV to the State Veterinarian’s Office at 303-869-9130. Reporting cases as quickly as possible will benefit your client and is the best way to reduce the negative implications to other owners.
NON-EQUINE CASES: All suspected VSV in non-equine cases (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, camelids) must be investigated by state or federal animal health officials.
Colorado veterinarians and livestock owners should contact the state of destination when moving livestock interstate to ensure that all import requirements are met. States may impose certain restrictions for horses and livestock coming from VSV affected states. Visit this website for a list of contact information for all state veterinarians’ offices.
If the destination state requires you to certify that the livestock do not originate within a specified distance of a VSV-quarantined premises (for example a 10 mile circle), call our office at 303-869-9130. One of our staff can map the location of your client and the location of the nearest quarantine so you can ensure they meet the destination state requirements.
Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Background
Vesicular Stomatitis is a viral disease that primarily affects horses and cattle and occasionally swine, sheep, goats, llamas, and alpacas. The transmission of VSV is not completely understood, but includes insect vectors such as black flies, sand flies, and biting midges. The incubation period ranges from 2-8 days. Clinical signs include vesicles, erosions, and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, teats, and coronary bands. Often excessive salivation is the first sign of disease, along with a reluctance to eat or drink. Lameness and weight loss may follow.
Humans may become infected when handling affected animals, but this is a rare event. To avoid human exposure, individuals should use personal protective measures when handling affected animals.