It’s been a wet summer with lots of bugs. And all those flies and insects have led to the worst outbreak in years of a livestock virus known as vesicular stomatitis. The virus is identical to foot and mouth disease, except it can affect not only cattle but horses and other livestock. It causes sores on the animal’s mouth, ears and feet. State Veterinarian Jim Logan advises stopping the spread of the disease by limiting contact with other’s people’s livestock and with insects.
“The best thing there is to use a lot of insect spray, keep weeds and debris and that type of thing picked up. And avoid stagnant water pools where midges and flies like to breed and hang out.”
He says the unusually rainy weather has led to the outbreak.
“The wet spring and summer probably produced a lot of ideal habitat for insects that probably propagated the insect populations,” he says. “Typically, this virus kind of runs on a cycle. Used to be we’d see it about once every eight to ten years. But lately we’ve been seeing it in some states almost every year for the last three.”
Logan says cases have cropped up in nine counties, including Goshen, Platte, Laramie, Sublette, Converse, Albany, Natrona, Fremont and Weston, with another one being investigated in Crook County. He says some of the cases have required quarantines. He says because the virus isn’t common in the U.S., people are required to report all cases of the illness to the State Veterinarian’s office.