An outbreak of Vesicular Stomatitis, or VS, has been making its way across the western states for the last few weeks. Vesicular Stomatitis is a viral infection that is spread from horse to horse via insects as well as direct contact when horses are in close quarters. Horses that have been infected demonstrate blister like lesions on their lips and tongue. In severe cases blister lesions can be seen around the hooves and around the teats. The blisters last 4-5 days and horses affected need to be fed a soft feed or gruel as the mouth is tender until healed. This virus makes its way across the country nearly every year during the summer months. Most exposed horses become infected while attending shows and rodeos where horses from a large region congregate. We encourage horse owners to reduce the risk to their horses by keeping their horses isolated and not sharing any feeders or water buckets while attending these functions.
The disease is particularly concerning because it will also affect cattle and swine and Vesicular Stomatitis mimics other very infectious diseases in these species.