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Are You Aware Of This Horse Virus?
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Are You Aware Of This Horse Virus?

The horse is one animal that helps us humans far more than many others. From using horses to work farms and carry luggage to riding them in professional events, horses have been one of the most loyal and reliable species of animals out there. That is the reason horse owners cannot afford their horses coming down with a serious illness, other than having a deep relationship with them after relying on them for their livelihoods. How much you care about your horse though, shows by how aware you are of the horse virus that is causing blisters all over their bodies these days. An outbreak of Vesicular Stomatitis that has been seen in Texas and Colorado this year has horses covered in sores.

An Outbreak Worse Than Ever:

Seeing that the number of horses effected by the outbreak this year are more than 60 times than what it was in 2010 (about 277 as opposed to 4) is a big reason to worry. The year 2012 had the second largest outbreak, which affected a total of 51 horses and no cases were seen last year.

The outbreak this year only seems to keep increasing. According to recent reports by The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, 76 properties have been found with new cases of the disease. Colorado seems to be affected much more than Texas with a total of 64 properties as opposed to the 12 in Texas.

A total of 277 horses have fallen prey to vesicular stomatitis this year, which is why you need to be aware of the various symptoms of this virus. All of these horses are spread across eight counties in Colorado and eleven in Texas. Out of all the properties affected, eight from Texas have been cleared of the virus by now.

Causes, Symptoms and Effects:

The disease transmits to animals through biting flies. It is highly contagious and can transfer to other animals though bodily secretions. It causes the following effects in the animals:

  • Ulcers and blisters in the mouth, lips, and on the tongue. 
  • It also causes lesions on the hooves and the coronary bands around the feet.

Remedies and Precautions:

The lesions caused by the virus usually heal themselves within a couple of weeks, but due to the fact that the disease is highly contagious, it is advised to all horse owners to report any case they see immediately.

The affected animals are given proper care and the farms or properties are quarantined for 30 days. After that, if the virus is no more, the quarantine is released. The biggest problem with this virus is that there are no vaccines to avoid it.

The good news though, is that deaths are very rare. In addition,  it usually causes only flu-like symptoms in humans, which can be fought off with proper rest. Whether it is fatal or not, it is something that can be very painful for your horse and even to yourself. Horse owners in the affected areas should do well to be aware of this horse virus.

Disclaimer: Of Horse! and sponsors do not endorse nor validate the accuracy of a blog post. Each article is the opinion of the blogger.

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