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Nebraska confirms Vesicular Stomatitis case in horse in Buffalo County

Christian Fernsby ▼ | June 29, 2020
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) has confirmed a case of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in a horse in Buffalo County.
Buffalo County horse
Nebraska   Buffalo County horse
The horses on the infected premises have been quarantined. At present time, one additional horse on the premises is also exhibiting VS symptoms. All animals on the infected premises will be quarantined for at least 14 days after the onset of lesions in the last affected animal.

Topics: Nebraska Vesicular Stomatitis

VS is a viral disease which primarily affects horses and cattle, but can also affect sheep, goats and swine. The disease is characterized by fever and the formation of blister-like lesions in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves and teats.

When the blisters break, there is usually salivation and nasal discharge. As a result of these painful lesions, infected animals may refuse to eat and drink, which can lead to weight loss. There are currently no USDA-approved vaccines for VS.

“Vesicular Stomatitis is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected black flies, sand flies and midges,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Dennis Hughes. “There are things livestock owners can do to reduce flies and other insects where animals are housed, but, until freezing temperatures move in and kill the insects that spread the virus, VS will continue to be a threat in Nebraska.”

Hughes went on to say, “Since VS can also spread by contact between animals and by shared equipment, like tools or tack, we want livestock owners to be aware and practice good biosecurity measures with their animals, particularly with animals that may comingle with others.”

To help prevent the spread of the disease, Nebraska has import restrictions for livestock coming into the state from states that have confirmed VS cases. If you are considering moving an animal into Nebraska from an affected state, please learn more about the importation order.