Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) officials are saying in spite of more cases this week, there is no known connection between the recent rash of Vesicular Stomatitus (VS) cases confirmed in eleven horses located at five different premises in three Texas counties since late May.

But the sudden appearance of the disease has prompted intrastate restrictions on the movement of animals across state lines and limits international movement of animals from Texas into several foreign destinations.

The Texas Animal Health Commission announced May 28 that the nation's first case of Vesicular Stomatitis this year involving five horses had been confirmed in Kinney County southeast of Del Rio. Those animals were immediately placed in quarantine by state officials.

 

Less than two weeks later three additional VS cases at two different and unrelated premises in Hidalgo County northwest of Edinburg were confirmed and those animals were also quarantined to prevent the spread of the disease.

This week TAHC confirmed three more horses have tested positive for VS, this time in San Patricio County near Mathis, Texas, in the Coastal Bend. Two of the horses were found on a premise northeast of Mathis and a third horse at a different premise about a half mile away. In spite of the close proximity of the premises, state veterinarians remain firm on an earlier statement that no connection appears to exist between the animals located at the five premises across the southern region of the state.

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VS is a viral infection that 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 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 (FMD), however, animal health officials urge livestock owners and caretakers to report symptoms to their veterinarian immediately. Most animals recover well with supportive care by a veterinarian, but some lesions can be painful.