County Issues Advisory to Protect Animals During Fair & Rodeo

Photo: Horses with vesicular stomatitis show blanched raised or broken vesicles around the upper surface of the tongue, surface of the lips and around nostrils, corners of the mouth and the gums. Courtesy/Horsetalk



The New Mexico Livestock Board (NMLB) is reporting that New Mexico is currently experiencing a significant outbreak of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS.) 

VS is classified as a Foreign Animal Disease (FAD), and, as such, cases are required to be reported nationally and internationally. 

To minimize the spread of the disease and to help avoid severe restrictions on future livestock movement, the following requirements and restrictions are being implemented. 

For livestock events held in New Mexico, the event coordinator is responsible for helping ensure livestock owners’ compliance with these and any other livestock movement requirements, as it applies to animals admitted onto the premises of the event and will go away in 90 days.

In response to this report, the Los Alamos County Recreation Division is observing all guidelines enacted by the NMLB and working with certified veterinarians per the specifications recently updated in the NMLB’s Emergency Amendment 21.30.4 NMAC to ensure the safety of the livestock at the North Mesa Stables during the Los Alamos County Rodeo occurring Aug. 10-12.

A direct link to the NMLB website concerning VS can be accessed on the Los Alamos Count Recreation Division’ website ( and is also posted on the rodeo contractor, Wiseman Rodeo Company, website (

Contact the Los Alamos County Recreation Division at (505) 662-8173 with questions or concerns.

Vesicular stomatitis

Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that primarily affects cattle, horses, and swine and occasionally sheep, goats, llamas, and alpacas, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspections Service.

Humans can also become infected with the disease when handling affected animals, but this is a rare event.

Vesicular stomatitis has been confirmed only in the Western Hemisphere. It is known to be an endemic disease in the warmer regions of North, Central, and South America.

In affected livestock, the incubation period for vesicular stomatitis ranges from 2-8 days. Often, excessive salivation is the first sign of the disease.

Close examination of the mouth initially reveals blanched and raised vesicles or blister-like lesions in affected livestock.

These blister-like lesions can form in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves, and teats.

The blisters swell and break, leaving raw tissue that is so painful that infected animals show signs of lameness and generally refuse to eat or drink.

Severe weight loss may follow.

Recommended Actions

There is no specific treatment or cure for vesicular stomatitis. Owners can protect their animals from the disease by avoiding congregating animals in the vicinity where vesicular stomatitis has occurred.

Mild antiseptic mouthwashes may bring comfort and more rapid recovery to an affected animal.


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