SAN ANGELO, Texas – This year, weather patterns are not favorable for grass eating animals, as the southern Concho Valley is experiencing an anthrax outbreak.
Anthrax is a bacteria that is formed in soil, when there are wet springs and then hot dry weather without rain.
It grows with the grass and when animals ingest the infected spores, they can become ill as little as 12 hours to 5 days.
The spores can be also be transmitted from inhaling dirt, where spores are present or getting bitten by horseflies, that have stung an infected animal.
It usually affects cattle and sheep. However, this year more horses and white tail deer are becoming infected and dying.
Symptoms of an infected animal are: running a fever, swelling, discharges from eyes and mouth. Although, there is hope if you catch it soon and act fast.
“If you think you have an issue, contact your Veterinarian in your area. See what they’re seeing in that area of animals that are sick. Don’t wait to see how they feel the next day, talk to your Veterinarian – right then. We can save some of these animals if we get them started on high levels of antibiotics very early. If the disease advances then it’s very very difficult to nearly impossible to get these animals over it,” Dr. Gary Hodges, who is the owner and Veterinarian at Western Veterinary Hospital.
To prevent this from happening to your animals, speak with your local Veterinarian about getting a yearly anthrax vaccine.
Planning ahead is wise, as this vaccine can have side effects that are not favorable in hotter and busier times of year.