Vesicular Stomatis Crackdown: Additional Show Requirements

This blog was updated on May 12, 2015. Please check with your veterinarian about current outbreaks. Get updated outbreak info at

Outbreaks of Vesicular Stomatitis have caused postponement and cancellation of events, with current outbreaks in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Many associations, clubs, facilities, and event coordinators are implementing additional precautionary measures at scheduled events to help curb the spread of the disease.

If you’re heading to a show or event in the near future, brush up on recent requirements such as paperwork and what you’ll need to pack.

Credit: Jim Bortvedt

Organizers may require a current Certificate of Health Inspection (CVI) issued within 48 hours of check-in with a statement that the horse is free of VS infection. Also, be prepared for a veterinarian to perform an oral inspection of your horse upon arrival checking for lesions. Be sure to check requirements for your horse to reenter your home state before leaving the show. You might need an updated CVI to get back to your barn. (See “When You Need a Vet Referral” to help you find an equine veterinarian in a pinch.)

When you’re at the event, avoid shared water and feed buckets by packing extra equipment for each of your horses. Also, be sure to bring extra tack or disinfecting solutions so you can clean tack before you use it on a different horse.

Pack fly wipes, sprays, foggers, and repellents that will help minimize the threat of spread or infection while at the facility. (VS is spread by flies, so fly control is of utmost importance.)

A first-aid kit is always a good idea, but make sure that you have a thermometer available to monitor your horse’s temperature if he starts to show signs or symptoms of VS on the road.

Information compiled from the Colorado Department of Agriculture and Colorado State Fair & Rodeo sites.

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