Vesicular Stomatitis found in 14 Colorado counties
October 8, 2015
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – As of 10/7/2015, the Colorado Department of Agriculture's State Veterinarian's Office has 42 locations in 14 counties under quarantine after horses, mules, and cattle herds tested positive for Vesicular Stomatitis (VS).
New for 2015 VS Investigations:
A notable change in the 2015 State response to VS has come from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) delisting of VS as a foreign animal disease in horses; VS continues to be listed as a foreign animal disease for cattle and other livestock. This USDA procedural change will allow greater flexibility in how VS is managed in respect to equine cases. The primary change will now be that quarantines may be released as soon as 14 days after the onset of clinical signs of the last affected horse on a premises. "The new protocols allow our office to release quarantines more quickly which ensures appropriate disease safeguards and promotes business continuity," continued Roehr.
With the delisting of VS as a foreign animal disease, Colorado veterinarians may now take a lead role in the management of the disease in equine cases. In earlier cases, CDA or USDA field vets were required to perform the disease investigations on horses; the delisting now allows local veterinarians to perform the initial investigations, collect samples, and collaborate with animal health officials regarding movement restrictions and quarantines.
The Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has been approved to perform VS tests on horses in Colorado. This will provide a more timely response on test results.
Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) Signs and Transmission:
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VS susceptible species include horses, mules, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, pigs, and camelids. The clinical signs of the disease include vesicles, erosions and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, teats and above the hooves of susceptible livestock. Vesicles are usually only seen early in the course of the disease. The transmission of vesicular stomatitis is not completely understood but components include insect vectors, mechanical transmission, and livestock movement.
Tips for Livestock Owners:
Strict fly control is an important factor to inhibit the transmission of the disease.
Avoid transferring feeding equipment, cleaning tools or health care equipment from other herds.
Colorado veterinarians and livestock owners should contact the state of destination when moving livestock interstate to ensure that all import requirements are met. A list of contact information for all state veterinarians' offices is available at: http://www.colorado.gov/aganimals.
Colorado fairs, livestock exhibitions, and rodeos may institute new entry requirements based on the extent and severity of the current VS outbreak. Certificates of Veterinary Inspection issued within 2-5 days prior to an event can beneficial to reduce risks. Be sure to stay informed of any new livestock event requirements.
–Colorado Department of Livestock