Vesicular Stomatitis confirmed in Arizona |

Vesicular Stomatitis confirmed in Arizona

Vesicular Stomatitis (VS), which is a reportable and quarantinable disease in South Dakota, has been confirmed in a horse in Arizona.

Arizona is the first state affected by VS in 2010.

Effective immediately, all livestock entering South Dakota from affected states must be accompanied by a health certificate stating that the animals have not originated from premises or areas under quarantine for VS, and that none are known to have been exposed to VS. The health certificate must be issued within 72 hours of shipment.

South Dakota State Veterinarian Dr. Dustin Oedekoven urges horse owners to consider altering their schedules if plans include traveling to areas affected by the disease.

VS is a sporadic, re-emerging disease characterized by blister-like lesions on the tongue, lips and soft skin areas of hooved animals. VS has an incubation period of one to eight days. Infected animals develop blisters that swell and burst, leaving painful sores.

Transmission of VS is not fully understood, however, it is known that the disease may be spread from animal to animal or by biting insects.

Infected animals can also spread the virus when their saliva or fluid from ruptured blisters contaminates feed, water or hay shared within herds. VS infections usually run their course in two to three weeks, at which time animals begin healing. VS outbreaks usually, but not always, end with the seasonal freeze.

VS cases lead to export restrictions on susceptible animals, both interstate and internationally.

VS is not a disease of humans, although there have been occasional reports of mild flu-like signs by individuals working closely with affected animals.

Contact your veterinarian if there is a suspicion of VS in your livestock.

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