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Agriculture Today

Vesicular Stomatitis detected in Texas cattle

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July 16, 2014 | 6,122 views | 1 comment

Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) has been detected in two head of cattle in South Texas, 5.7 miles southwest of Mathis (Jim Wells County). According to the Texas Animal Health Commission, the cattle were tested after the owner observed blistering and swelling on the animals’ muzzles and contacted their local veterinary practitioner. Testing at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Plum Island, N.Y., confirmed the virus as the New Jersey serotype, which is the same serotype found in previously reported cases in Texas horses.

VS can cause blisters and sores in the mouth and on the tongue, muzzle, teats, or hooves of horses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, llamas, and a number of other animals. Lesions usually will heal in two or three weeks. Because of the contagious nature of VS and its resemblance to other diseases such as foot and mouth disease, animal-health officials urge livestock owners and caretakers to report these symptoms to their veterinarian immediately.

The newly identified infected herd of cattle is currently under quarantine by the state commission. Regulatory veterinarians will monitor affected and exposed cattle until all lesions have healed and a decision is made to release the quarantine (a minimum of 21 days). There is no known exposure to other cattle. This is the first case of VS in cattle in the United States since 2006.

The disease may be spread by direct contact with infected animals or by biting insects. The disease is rarely fatal.

“Livestock owners should try to limit exposure of their animals to biting flies,” said Dr. Dee Ellis, the Texas state veterinarian. “Sand flies and black flies play a role in the virus transmission, so controlling insects is important.”

“If you suspect your animal may have VS, you should notify your veterinarian immediately,” said Dr. Andy Schwartz, Texas state epidemiologist. “VS is not highly contagious to people, but it can cause flu-like illness if infected saliva gets into an open wound, eyes, or mouth. People handling potentially infected animals should wear gloves for protection, and talk with their physician if they have questions.”

Some states, including Louisiana, and other countries may restrict movement of or impose additional requirements for, susceptible animals from states and counties having known cases of VS. See “Louisiana VS requirements” for more information. Animal-health officials in the intended state of destination should be contacted prior to movement.

For information about these movement restrictions, contact the state or country of destination.

For more information about VS, visit the Texas Animal Health Commission’s brochure at

For international export information, contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services Austin office at 512-383-2411.

Sources: Texas Animal Health Commission and Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry

VS cases in Texas

The Texas Animal Health Commission has received confirmation of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in horses and cattle in Texas. To date, eight premises in five Texas counties have been confirmed with the disease.

•Kinney County -- first case in the nation confirmed May 28, southeast of Del Rio. was released after quarantine (horse).

•Jim Wells County -- first case in nation since 2006 (cattle).

•Hidalgo County -- two premises (horses).

•San Patricio County -- two premises (horses).

•Nueces County -- two premises (horses).

Louisiana VS requirements

Any livestock (equine, bovine, porcine, caprine, or ovine) entering Louisiana from a county where VS has been diagnosed within the last thirty (30) days must be accompanied by a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection written within ten (10) days of entry containing the following statement: “All animals identified on this certificate have been examined and found free from signs of VS, have not been exposed to VS, and have not originated from a premises which is under quarantine for VS.”

Your Opinions and Comments

July 22, 2014 9:18am
According to a July 18 Texas Animal Health Commission Texas update, the agency received confirmation of a new case of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in a horse in Central Texas -- a premise located 8 miles southeast of Seguin in Guadalupe ... More ›

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