Colorado has had an “unprecedented” amount of Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) cases so far this year said Colorado state veterinarian Keith Roehr. Threat of the virus affecting even more horses as fair season ramps up in the state is a great concern.
On July 24, 70 horses in Larimer County were quarantined, reported the Colorado Department of Agriculture. In total, 170 horses have been confirmed to have the virus; one cow was also affected in Boulder County.
VSV is a viral disease that can affect horses, cattle and pigs, and occasionally llamas, alpacas, sheep and goats. Animals get blisters around their mouth, lose weight and become lethargic. Rarely life threatening, infected animals are quarantined and required to limit movement.
Event organizers are encouraged to put additional precautions in place to avoid the spread of VSV, including having a vet inspect every horse at an event. Requiring health certificates can also be helpful. Horses arriving ill should be turned away and those that show signs of the disease while at the event should be quarantined. Fly control is also important and can help prevent the spread of the virus. Removing old bedding, hay or feed is necessary.
VSV is expected to taper off into the fall.
Read more at the Coloradoan.
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