The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry announced July 30 that vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) has been confirmed in a horse in Tillman County, Okla.
So far in 2019, VSV has been reported in Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. This is the first case in Oklahoma since the 1990s, according to the Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences (CVHS). VSV is a viral disease affecting horses and all clovened-hooved animals.
VSV does not typically cause death in animals, and human infection is rare. Clinical signs are most commonly seen in horses and cattle and include: excessive salivation, decreased appetite, fever, vesicles (blisters) or sores in the mouth and on the lips, lameness and sores or crusts on the underline and legs.
Transmission of the disease is not well understood, but insect vectors, mechanical transmission and movement of animals can all play a role, CVHS said. Owners and veterinarians should monitor all susceptible animals closely, as VSV can resemble food and mouth disease and other foreign animal diseases. Biosecurity measures should be increased to help control the spread.
Diagnosis of positive animals is done by a blood test, and quarantine is required for positive or exposed animals. Owners and veterinarians should prepare well in advance of travel for restrictions that may be placed on susceptible species moving interstate or internationally, CVHS advised.
More information can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Vesicular Stomatitis webpage.