Vesicular stomatitis virus confirmed in S.D.
August 26, 2015
Two confirmed cases of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV), a reportable animal disease, have been found in Pennington County, South Dakota. USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratory reported the disease to South Dakota state veterinarian, Dustin Oedekoven, after testing samples that were submitted on Tuesday, July 28.
Premises with horses having vesicular lesions will be quarantined for a period of 14 days after first signs of disease.
This is the first time VSV has been diagnosed in South Daktoa since 1982.
VSV can also threaten other livestock species, including sheep, goats and pigs. The main symptoms of VSV are slobbering, blisters, sores and sloughing of skin in the mouth, on the tongue, on the muzzle, inside the ears and on the coronary band above the hooves. Lameness and weight loss may also occur.
VSV-infected horses and cattle have been found already in 2015 in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Wyoming and Arizona. Canada will currently not accept any ruminants, camelids, horses, or swine originating from those states. South Dakota will be added to the list.
Oedekoven recommends working with a local veterinarian to obtain necessary documentation if you are planning to transport any species that could be affected.
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Oedekoven also suggests that anyone planning an exhibition work with a local veterinarian to ensure biosecurity and compliance with state animal health regulations: http://aib.sd.gov/Pamphlets/Exhibition.pdf
Flies and midges are the insect vectors responsible for transmitting VSV. The virus can also be spread through direct contact with infected livestock and indirectly through contact with contaminated equipment and tack. Fly and insect control is the most important step in preventing the disease. Good sanitation and bio-security measures can help avoid exposure.
VSV is particularly significant because it is clinically indistinguishable from foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), swine vesicular disease and vesicular exanthema of swine, all serious foreign animal diseases. Because of similarities to these diseases, it is essential to quickly determine a diagnosis with laboratory testing if vesicles are observed in non-equines. Of the vesicular diseases, VSV is the only one that affects horses, and the presence of lesions is suggestive of VSV.
If you suspect VSV in your animals, contact your veterinarian immediately.
–South Dakota Animal Industry Board