Officials with the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health (DAH) have confirmed vesicular stomatitis (VS) in horses in Sherman County. The infected animals all reside on the same premises, which is a private residence, and no animal movement has occurred from the property for more than three weeks. DAH has quarantined the livestock. There is no known exposure to other livestock.
VS is a viral disease that primarily affects horses, but also can impact cattle, sheep, goats, swine, llamas and alpacas. The primary means of transmission is biting insects, like flies and midges. It also can be spread by nose-to-nose contact between animals. Symptoms include fever and the formation of blister-like lesions in the mouth, nostrils, ears, hooves and on teats. There is no USDA-approved vaccine for VS.
The virus typically runs its course in five to seven days. It can take an additional seven days for infected animals to recover from the symptoms. Anyone who suspects animals have VS should contact their local veterinarian or DAH.
Kansas is the eighth state with confirmed VS cases this year. When the virus was discovered in neighboring states, DAH increased import requirements to prevent the spread into Kansas.