According to the USDA/APHIS Web site about VS, while vesicular stomatitis does not generally cause animals to die, it can still cause economic losses to livestock producers. The disease is particularly significant because its outward signs are similar to (although generally less severe than) those of foot-and-mouth disease, a foreign animal disease of cloven-hoofed animals that was eradicated from the United States in 1929. The clinical signs of vesicular stomatitis are also similar to those of swine vesicular disease, another foreign animal disease. The only way to tell these diseases apart is through laboratory tests.

Clinical Signs

In affected livestock, the incubation period for vesicular stomatitis ranges from two to eight days. Often, excessive salivation is the first symptom. Close examination of the mouth initially reveals blanched and raised vesicles or blister-like lesions on the inner surfaces of the lips, gums, tongue, and/or dental pad.

In addition, these blister-like lesions can form on the lips, nostrils, coronary band, prepuce, vulva, and teats. The blisters swell and break, which causes oral pain and discomfort and reluctance to eat or drink. Lameness and severe weight loss may follow. Body temperature may rise immediately before or at the same time lesions first appear.

Texas Animal Health Rules
TAHC veterinarians have conducted numerous investigations for vesicular lesions in horses and vesicular stomatitis has not been diagnosed in Texas so far in 2012. TAHC is encouraging Texas horse owners and veterinarians to continue to report suspicious symptoms in susceptible species.