Vesicular stomatitis (VS) is a viral disease that primarily affects cattle, horses, swine and, occasionally, sheep and goats. To help protect animals brought into the Archuleta County Fair, either for judging or for rodeos, all animals will be visually checked by local veterinarians before entering.
If you have a health certificate or proof of a veterinarian check on your animal no more than two days prior to entry, you can bypass the entry check.
All livestock owners should be particularly watchful of symptoms of this contagious disease. Clinical symptoms include blister-like lesions in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves and teats. These blisters swell and break, leaving raw tissue that is painful and often causes infected animals to refuse to eat or drink and show signs of lameness.
How VS spreads is not fully known; insect vectors, mechanical transmission and movement of animals are probably responsible. The Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office offers the following recommendations for livestock owners bringing their animals to fair. If you suspect that any of your animals are infected, call your veterinarian immediately.