The Arizona Department of Agriculture released a press release on May 27 stating that they have confirmed cases of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus in horses in Cochise County. The case-positive areas have been quarantined. The disease causes blister like lesions in the mouth, on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves and teats. Animals will generally refuse to eat or drink and may show signs of lameness due to the blisters swelling and breaking, leaving extremely painful raw tissue. The outward signs of the disease are similar to (although less severe than) those of foot-and-mouth disease. The clinical signs are similar to swine vesicular disease. This virus can be highly contagious?. At this time, the virus has affected no horses in the Maryland area.
Due to the outbreak in Arizona, Canada has imposed additional requirements on horses entering from the U.S. as of June 8. Canada is prohibiting the importation of any horse from Arizona. In addition, owners shipping horses into Canada from any other state must include the following in addition to the normal Certificate of Veterinary Inspection:
• statement that horse has been inspected by a vet within 15 days of importation;
• statement that horse has not been in the state of Arizona in the previous 21 days;
• statement that horse has not been on a premise where VS occurred during the 60 days immediately preceding exportation to Canada, nor on a premise adjoining such a premise;
• statement that horse has tested negative to VS using a cELISA test during the 15 days prior to importation.