Vesicular Stomatitis


Over the past couple of months there have been numerous cases of Vesicular Stomatitis diagnosed in various areas of the country: Colorado, Texas, and now, Oklahoma.  As a veterinarian it is my job, along with the state veterinarians, to keep the public abreast on such matters.

What is Vesicular Stomatitis? 

It is a virus.  Horses, cattle and pigs are all susceptible with goats and sheep rarely getting infected. 

How is it transmitted? 

  1. By blood-feeding insects like black flies or sand flies.   

  2. Infected animals can also transmit the disease through open sores.

What are the signs my animal is infected? 

  1. Too much drool is the VERY first sign of disease. 

  2. Blisters or ulcers around the mouth or surface of the tongue

  3. Sores around the coronary band can lead to lameness

How long does the virus last? 

  1. The virus is short lived and usually only lasts about two weeks. 

  2. But reinfection can occur! 

What should I do if I think my animal has these signs?


Why should I know about this disease? 

  1. Vesicular Stomatitis is a REPORTABLE disease in most areas.  

  2. Veterinarians are required to report this disease to animal health officials when it is suspected. 

  3. There are no vaccines available for this disease in the U.S.

Planning on traveling? 

  1. Health papers (certificate of veterinary inspection) are required to move your animal across state lines. 

I have received a few phone calls over the past few months of people transporting animals to various shows or sales.  It amazes me how many people fail to have a certificate of veterinary inspection. It is the law that any animal moving across state lines, and most events require a health paper.  These laws are important in order to keep your animals safe and our state safe. In the case of vesicular stomatitis it is required that:

“Any livestock (equine, bovine, porcine, caprine, ovine, or cervidae) entering Oklahoma from a county where vesicular stomatitis has been diagnosed within the last thirty (30) days or a county that contains a premise quarantined for vesicular stomatitis shall be accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection dated within five (5) days of entry.” 

[Source: Added at 14 Ok Reg 3704, eff 8-1-97 (emergency); Added at 15 Ok Reg 2157, eff 6-11-98; Amended at 23 Ok Reg 11, eff8-4-05 (emergency); Amended at 23 Ok Reg 866, eff 5-11-06; Amended at 27 Ok Reg 2411, eff 7-25-10]

All we want as veterinarians is to keep your animals safe and to prevent the spread of any disease.  In order to do this we ask that you help us with complying with the laws set before us and be aware of any unusual changes in your animal’s health. 

Now you know!

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at Holdenville Veterinary Clinic. 

Sources: Josie L. traub-Dargatz, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University. Vesicular Stomatitis in Horses.