Weld County horse community fights outbreak of vesicular stomatitis

Horses and Vesicular Stomatitis

All horse owners in states effected by VS need to be aware of where and when outbreaks happen. Keep the amount of flies down in both your pasture and stalls. Look for the symptoms of VS – such as lesions in the mouth, lack of appetite and lethargy – and contact your Vet if you suspect your equine friend may have VS. ~ HfH

From: The Greeley Tribune
By: Nikki Work

Horses and Vesicular Stomatitis

A horse glances up from it’s paddock Tuesday afternoon at a ranch outside of Eaton. In addition to fly repellant, Debbie Warehime and other horse owners also are using protective blankets to protect their animals.

With the number of confirmed cases of vesicular stomatitis continuing to rise daily, the horse community in Weld County is going all out to stop the spread of the virus.

The number of Colorado properties quarantined because of vesicular stomatitis had risen to 206 as of Monday, with 200 still under active quarantine.

Weld County has the highest number of quarantined properties at 68, followed by Boulder County with 61 and Larimer County with 38, according to the most recent county-by-county breakdown issued by the Colorado Department of Agriculture on Aug. 20.

“I hope we can get this under control and keep our horses safe and healthy,” said Mary Bohlender, president of the Northern Colorado Riding Club.

Bohlender said the organization, which is based in Eaton and competes in Greeley, is taking any and all necessary precautions to prevent their members and animals from exposure to the painful and potentially costly virus.

The virus causes lesions in animals’ mouths, around the muzzles and sometimes on teats and hooves. Infected animals have difficulty eating and drinking and can develop lameness and lose dangerous amounts of weight.

Only horses and cows have contracted the virus so far, but many common livestock animals are susceptible, according to the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Though rare, the disease can also be transmitted to humans exposed to animals with the virus.

Between Aug. 13-20, 53 cases were diagnosed, bringing the total number of animals testing positive in the state to 268, with all but three cases found in horses. The number of quarantined premises rose by 20 between Aug. 20-25.

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AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
1 Comment
  • Robyn Persichitte Gipp

    My heart goes out to everyone in these infected areas. I too live in Colorado and seriously concerned about it coming into Elbert County, which is close to Douglas that is now under out breaks.
    It’s nearly impossible to control manure and have horses. You can scoop manure and put it out from the barn but flies still will arrive.
    This is a scary time for everyone who owns a horse. Flies are everywhere.

    August 29, 2014