Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) – Positive Diagnosis in Horses in Weld County

Guidelines for Livestock Shows, Fairs, Exhibitions, and Events

State Veterinarian’s Office, (303) 869-9130

LAKEWOOD, Colo. -Colorado has become the second state in the country to have a confirmed case of vesicular stomatitis (VS). Four horses on two Weld County premises tested positive for the disease and have been placed under quarantine. The horses involved in these index cases have no history of travel.

On July 17th, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory reported a positive test on samples submitted from four horses in Weld County. The initial Colorado disease investigation was performed by one of the field veterinarians from the State Veterinarian’s Office at the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

“Vesicular stomatitis can be painful for animals and costly to their owners,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr. “The virus typically causes oral blisters and sores that can be painful causing difficulty in eating and drinking.”

Veterinarians and livestock owners who suspect an animal may have VS or any other vesicular disease should immediately contact State or federal animal health authorities. Livestock with clinical signs of VS are isolated until they are healed and determined to be of no further threat for disease spread. There are no USDA approved vaccines for VS.

While rare, human cases of VS can occur, usually among those who handle infected animals. VS in humans can cause flu-like symptoms and only rarely includes lesions or blisters.

Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) Signs and Transmission:

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 www.colorado.gov/ag/animals and click on “Import Requirements.”
  • 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.
  • During an event, important VS disease prevention procedures include minimizing the sharing of water and feed/equipment, applying insect repellent daily (especially to the animals ears), and closely observing animals for signs of VS.
  • If moving livestock internationally please contact the USDA APHIS VS Colorado office at 303-231-5385 to determine if there are any movement restrictions or testing requirements for VSV.

Important Points for Veterinarians:

  • Any vesicular disease of livestock is reportable to the State Veterinarian’s Office in Colorado – to report call 303-869-9130. If after-hours, call the same number to obtain the phone number of the staff veterinarian on call.
  • Since VS is considered a foreign animal disease, any case with clinical signs consistent with VS will warrant an investigation by a state or federal foreign animal disease diagnostician (FADD).
  • When VS is suspected, the FADD will gather the epidemiological information, take the necessary blood samples, collect the necessary fluid or tissue from the lesions, and inform the owners and the referring veterinarian as to necessary bio-security and movement restrictions

 





Happy 4th of July!





Trail Volunteers Needed





Celebrate National Trails Day at Hall Ranch on June 7

The Hall Ranch Trails need some TLC! Volunteers will use hand tools to re-route worn-out sections of the trail while closing down the old trail. The goal is to create a trail that will stand up to heavy use and all kinds of weather. A light breakfast will be provided before we get to work. This project will run from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm. Minimum age is 14 with adult supervision. To register please visit www.BoulderCountyOpen Space/wildwork or contact Fletcher Jacobs at 303-678-6344 or fjacobs@bouldercounty.org

And just think, you’ll be joining over a million other volunteers all over the country who will be giving back to our public lands and trails.

Be sure to tell ‘em you’re with BCHA!





Open Space and Mountain Parks seeks volunteers for a National Trails Day project

Want to celebrate National Trails Day on June 7 and make a difference at the same time?

Then help the City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Department improve the East Boulder-White Rock Rocks Trail, which sustained significant damage during the September floods. OSMP is seeking volunteers to help the department resurface the trail’s tread with fine crushed rock.

The National Trails Day volunteer project will begin at 9 a.m., Saturday, June 7, and is expected to conclude at 4 p.m. Lunch will be provided to volunteers. Participants can sign up at http://bit.ly/1loRQbW.

National Trails Day is the United States’ largest celebration of trails, according to the American Hiking Society. During the day, organizations and groups celebrate America’s trails by organizing hikes, stewardship projects, biking and horseback rides, and other activities.

It would be great to have some horse people on this project, since we use this trail a lot!  Please be sure to let OSMP know that you’re with BCHA.



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