It's rodeo season in Wyoming, which means livestock from across the country are traveling into the state. With that comes the possibility of spreading disease. Jim Logan, the Wyoming State Veterinarian, is encouraging livestock owners and rodeo organizers to take extra precaution.
Following outbreaks of Vesicular Stomatitis in several western states, including two northern Colorado counties adjacent to Wyoming, Logan issued a 72-hour health certificate requirement for animals traveling into the state from areas with active cases of the disease.
"Vesicular Stomatitis, which is a viral disease, causes blister-type lesions in the mouth, and on the muzzle, and on the tongue and lips and on the utter, and sometimes on the ears and the coronary band of hoofed animals," said Logan.
Normally it's not lethal, but it exhibits similar symptoms to Foot-and-mouth disease, which can be.
Logan said rodeo organizers need to practice biosecurity protocol. That includes creating isolated areas for animals that need to be quarantined, and staying on top of reducing vectors.
"By that I'm talking about mowing the weeds, mowing the grass, getting rid of standing water, puddles, where mosquitoes or flies might breed," said Logan.
Those techniques can help mitigate the disease. But Logan said it's not just event livestock that are susceptible. Insects can infect animals anywhere, so he encourages owners to keep a watchful eye for symptoms.
Logan said Vesicular Stomatitis can also spread from one sick animal to another. He advised against sharing tack or feed and water pans. He added people should avoid transporting sick animals.
If the disease is detected it must be reported to the Wyoming Department of Agriculture.