S.E. ICA Sale_2020Gene Trust_1-14-202020 ABBA National F-1 Sale
Advertise With Us Subscribe Today Facebook
Not a member? Membership has its privileges— Register today! • Make SLS your homepage!
Cattle & Services Directory
Silveus_Box_2-17-20House Ad_Box_#2
Note: login or register to personalize
Submit Recipes to the Editor
home articles Herd Health |

Anthrax a growing concern in Texas as TVMDL confirms 18th case

published: August 13th 2019
source: Texas Animal Health Commission


The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, TVMDL, has now confirmed 18 positive cases of anthrax in animals, the Texas Animal Health Commission announced in their fifth situational update report. The first case was confirmed June 21 and the most recent case was confirmed Aug. 6. In an average year, TVMDL diagnoses two to three cases.

However this year’s wet winter followed by a dry, warm summer were the ideal conditions for the bacteria to emerge said Dr. Reid Redden, AgriLife Extension sheep and goat specialist, San Angelo. Anthrax is naturally found in soil, and spores may remain dormant for decades before emerging.

“I’ve spoken to ranchers in the affected regions who have had animals die of anthrax or who have animals exhibiting the signs and symptoms of the disease,” said Redden. “However we don’t want people to panic. This disease is fairly well confined to a region in southwest Texas, and animals can be protected in advance by being vaccinated.”

Animals typically contract the disease through eating contaminated soil or inhaling spores. Once an animal is infected, the disease can be spread through their bodily fluids, hide and meat, and caution should be taken. 



Biting insects may also spread the disease. Horse flies are experiencing high populations this year and are known vectors of the disease, but the extent of their role in spreading anthrax is unknown. 

Redden said the symptoms of anthrax occur three to seven days after the animal has been infected and may include seizures, staggering and difficulty breathing. In later stages of the disease, animals will bleed from their orifices. Typically animals die within 48 hours of symptom onset.

Texas Animal Health Commission’s rules, as stated in the Texas Administrative Code, requires that if anthrax is suspected, a sample must be drawn by a vet and sent to TVMDL for testing. The carcasses of deceased animals must be disposed of by burning.

In Texas, the “anthrax triangle” is the area where cases are traditionally seen. So far this year, cases have been found in Crockett, Kinney, Sutton, Uvalde and Val Verde counties. Species infected include goats, deer, cattle, antelope and horses.

“We tend to see anthrax when the hot part of the summer starts, and then it tends to go away once it gets cooler,” Redden said. “But cooler weather could still be a couple of months away. This problem could get a lot worse before it gets better.”

To learn more about the crucial role TVMDL plays in disease surveillance efforts in Texas, go to http://bit.ly/2Kv4M7m

To learn more about the health and safety precautions to take if anthrax is suspected in an animal, as well as the proper disposal procedures, visithttps://bit.ly/2Md0bIP.

The “anthrax triangle” is the area of Texas where cases are traditionally seen. Shaded counties represent where 2019 cases have occurred so far. (Texas Animal Health Commission map)

Site:   Home   Publications   Market Reports   Sale Reports   Sale Calendar   Cattle & Service Directory   Full Commodities Report   Services   About Us   Contact Us

Article Categories:   All   Industry News   Herd Health   Feed & Nutrition   Pastures & Forages   Reproduction   Marketing   Columnists   Production   Genetics & Performance   Weather Forecast   Breed News   Producer Feature Stories   Items of Interest   New Products   Recipes

User:   Login   Logout   Register/Profile   Submit Market Report   Submit Sale Report