Two Horses Confirmed with Vesicular Stomatitis Virus in Arizona

On January 8, 2014, the Arizona Department of Agriculture announced vesicular stomatitis was diagnosed in two horses living in Santa Cruz County, Arizona.  This viral disease causes painful blisters and ulcers on the mouth, nose and tongue of horses. In cattle, it also affects the hooves and udder.  The virus may infect people causing flu-like symptoms. Treatment is symptomatic and animals are quarantined until the ulcerations have healed. Currently, there are no USDA approved vaccines available.

Besides causing economic loss, Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) is also important because the clinical signs are similar to more well known Foot and Mouth Disease of cattle. Therefore, all suspected cases must be reported to the appropriate governmental agencies.


-Arizona Department of Agriculture, Three Santa Cruz County Properties Quarantined Due to Contagious Virus: Positive Diagnosis of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus in 2 Horses. Arizona Department of Agriculture News Release, January 8, 2015.

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.