Larry Catt, D.V.M.
Larry G. Martin, D.V.M.

24 Hour Emergency
El Cajon (619) 590-1991
Ramona (760) 789-6845

Vesicular Stomatitis

Why Do I Need to Know About Vesicular Stomatitis?

Although Vesicular Stomatitis has not made it to California, yet, you need to know about this disease if you plan to travel with your horse to Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah, or Wyoming and then return to California.  Or, if you purchase a horse from one of the above states.

According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), all horses, cattle, swine, sheep and goats from a state where VS has been diagnosed, or visiting an infected state and then returning to California, except those moving directly to slaughter, must be accompanied by a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) that includes the statement: “I have examined all the animals identified on this certificate within 72 hours of shipment date and found them to be free from signs of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS). During the last thirty (30) days, these animals have not been exposed to VS nor located on a VS confirmed or a VS suspected premises.”

So, if you go to a diagnosed state for even a few hours, you will need to get a new Health Certificate from a licensed veterinarian with the above statement.

The likelihood of a horse in California contracting VS is extremely small.  But, the disease is so painful for the animal and expensive for the owner to treat that the state of California wants to make sure it never enters.

What is Vesicular Stomatitis?

Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) is a viral disease affecting cattle, horses, swine, sheep, goats, many wild animals, and occasionally humans. VS causes vesicles (blisters) that form in the mouth (on the tongue, dental pad and lips), in the nostrils, on areas around the hooves and on the teats. These vesicles swell and break exposing raw tissue.

How is it Spread?

Biting insects and animal-to-animal contact may spread the disease throughout the herd. An infected animal’s saliva and fluid from ruptured vesicles can contaminate feed and water, further spreading the disease.

What Are the Clinical Signs?

Livestock usually show signs 2-8 days after exposure to the virus. The first noticeable sign is usually excessive salivation due to the vesicles in the mouth. Vesicles may also be found on the nostrils and around the hooves and teats. Animals may refuse to eat or drink and may show signs of lameness. Affected animals usually recover within two weeks

Click Here to learn more about VS from The Horse.

Click Here to learn more about Vesicular Stomatitis from the CDFA website.

Click Here to read the CDFA Factsheet on Vesicular Stomatitis.