TILLMAN COUNTY, Okla. – State officials warn horse owners of a virus that re-emerged in Oklahoma.
On Monday, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry of Oklahoma confirmed that a diagnosis was made in a horse in Tillman County of vesicular stomatitis virus.
The vesicular stomatitis virus is a viral disease affecting horses, donkeys, mules, cattle and pigs. Animals afflicted with the virus are prone to excessive salivation and reluctant to eat or drink.
Experts warn that the animals may also have erosions and skin peelings on the muzzle, tongue, ears, teats and garlands of their hooves.
When lesions first appear, body temperature may rise. Officials say lameness or weight loss could also follow.
So far, the virus has been reported this year in Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
This is the first case in Oklahoma since the 1990s.
According to official figures, the virus usually has an incubation period of two to eight days before the infected animal develops blisters that swell and burst and leave painful wounds. The virus can be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals or by blood-feeding insects.
Once confirmed that an animal is infected with the virus, it should be quarantined for 14 days to prevent the spread of the virus.
Officials issued the following tips to protect your animals from the virus:
- Control biting flies
- Keep horses at night or under a roof to reduce exposure to flies.
- Keep the stables clean.
- Food and Water Stockpiles in Single Buckets
- Do not Visit Quarantined Premises
Veterinarians and pet owners suspected of having VSV in their animals should contact the OK immediately at (405) 522-6141 Contact State Veterinarians Office.