Texas Releases Final Vesicular Stomatitis Quarantines

Photo: Courtesy Dr. Josie Traub-Dargatz

Texas animal health officials have released the final vesicular stomatitis (VS) quarantines in that state, while dozens of premises in Colorado remain under quarantine.

The viral disease 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. Most animals recover well with supportive care by a veterinarian, but some lesions can be painful.

Texas—The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has released the final two VS-affected premises—one in Bastrop County and another in Travis County—from quarantine.

The first case of VS was found in Kinney County on May 28. Since then, the TAHC quarantined 62 premises in 13 counties, including Bastrop, Guadalupe, Jim Wells, Falls, Hidalgo, Kinney, Lee, McLennan, Nueces, San Patricio, Travis, Val Verde, and Williamson.

The Texas livestock affected by VS was limited to equine and cattle. However, other susceptible livestock include, sheep, pigs, deer and other cloven-hooved animals.


Several states and countries may still impose enhanced entry requirements on VS susceptible livestock coming from Texas. Producers are still encouraged to contact the state of destination for official requirements. At present, California, Georgia, New Mexico, and North Dakota have issued entry requirements;. For more information on those requirements visithttp://www.tahc.texas.gov/news/2014StateRestrictionsOnTX_VS.pdf.

“On behalf of the TAHC, I would like to thank all cattle and equine owners and Texas veterinarians for the constant support and generous help with harnessing the spread of VS,” said Dee Ellis, DVM, Texas state veterinarian and TAHC executive director. “All livestock that were tested positive for VS this year have been released because of the supportive care by veterinarians and caretakers.”

The TAHC advises livestock owners to continue practicing VS preventative measures by minimizing livestock exposure to sand flies and black flies, which are known to transport the virus through biting. Outbreaks are sporadic and years can lapse between cases. The last confirmed case of VS in Texas before this outbreak was in 2009.