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Dangerous animal disease confirmed in Nebraska horse

Posted at 10:24 PM, Aug 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-13 23:29:36-04

OMAHA, Neb. — American Legacy Complex in Omaha offers riding lessons, training and birthday party celebrations.

The equestrian facility houses over 30 horses.

Their health and safety are a vital concern, especially now that a case of a dangerous viral disease called Vesicular Stomatitis has now been confirmed in Nebraska.

Easily transmitted nose to nose or through infected insects, the disease affects horses and cattle creating painful blister-like lesions that may stop the animal from being active of eating.

"You know you bring horse in with it, it's easily transmitted. They could all get it," horse instructor Linda Whitesides said.

Linda works for American Legacy Complex and cares deeply for her horses. She's taking extra precautions, not taking any chances.

"I personally have decided I will not travel to horse shows to avoid coming in to a possible horse that's come down with it," she said.

With the Nebraska State Fair kicking off in just about a week, restrictions will be in place to keep incoming horses and surrounding horses safe.

"They require those horses going to the State Fair needs to be looked at 48 hours prior to coming on the grounds by a veterinarian. So they have a 48 hour health certificate restriction," Dr. Mike Black of Nebraska Equine Veterinary Clinic said.

"They all have to have their health certificates. There will be vets on board to examine every horse before it is allowed to be stalled there," Whitesides said.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture recommends that animal owners consider treatments to reduce flies and other insects to help prevent the disease. The only confirmed cause is in Lincoln County. The horse is being quarantined.