A virus that causes painful mouth lesions in horses and may cause them to stop eating for a time has been confirmed in at least three Taos County locations, according to reports filed by …
A virus that causes painful mouth lesions in horses and may cause them to stop eating for a time has been confirmed in at least three Taos County locations, according to reports filed by veterinarians with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Taos County is among at least seven counties in the state with confirmed cases of the virus.
The New Mexico Livestock Board is urging horse owners to take steps to prevent the spread of the vesicular stomatitis virus, especially with county and state fair season approaching.
"While we are not ordering the cancellation of any events at this point, we recommend several advisable steps to keep animals safe," said state veterinarian Dr. Ralph Zimmerman. "I encourage common sense decision-making and overall awareness of the situation."
The virus can affect horses, cattle, sheep, goats, swine, camelids (alpacas and llamas) and cervids (deer species). Symptoms may include oral lesions, oral blistering and drooling.
The following list of recommendations is for fair organizers, rodeo organizers and for individuals bringing animals to events:
• Either an Extension agent, local veterinarian or a knowledgeable livestock person should be present at entry gates to check animals' mouths for lesions, using fresh gloves for each animal;
• Questionable animals should be sent home before they enter the grounds;
• Horse owners should regularly use fly spray on their equines;
• Avoid handling other people's animals and avoid sharing grooming equipment;
• Use your own water buckets;
• If an animal breaks with vesicular stomatitis on the grounds, send it home immediately.
At this point, state officials are not requiring a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection for intrastate travel. VSV cases have been confirmed in Valencia, Sandoval, Los Alamos and Santa Fe counties.
If your horse becomes infected, consult with your veterinarian on treatment options.
Refer to the New Mexico Livestock Board website for more detailed information: nmlbonline.com/news.
Contact your veterinarian if you plan to travel from New Mexico to other states with horses or other livestock. This disease is reportable in New Mexico, meaning animal
owners are required to notify USDA or the state veterinarian if your veterinarian suspects VSV.
If you suspect vesicular stomatitis virus, contact the New Mexico State Veterinarian Dr. Ralph Zimmerman at (505) 841-6161 or USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)/USDA-Veterinary Services (VS) at (505) 313-8050.
- Report submitted by New Mexico Livestock Board
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