ARMSTRONG COUNTY, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) received confirmation of anthrax in a horse located in Armstrong County on August, 20. TAHC officials said this is the third confirmed case of Anthrax in the state this year.
The premises is located in the southern section of the county and is quarantined. In a statement, officials said proper disposal of affected carcasses and vaccination of livestock on the premises is required, per TAHC rules, prior to the quarantine being released.
“The TAHC will continue to closely monitor the situation and encourage producers in the county to consult
with their local veterinary practitioner if they have questions or concerns about anthrax,” said Dr. Andy
Schwartz, TAHC State Veterinarian and Executive Director.
TAHC told KAMR anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, which is a naturally occurring organism with worldwide distribution, including certain parts of Texas. Cases in Texas are most often found in portions of Crockett, Val Verde, Sutton, Edwards, Kinney and Maverick counties.
“This is not the first time we have seen anthrax in Armstrong County,” said Dr. Schwartz. “Last September, we
received confirmation of the disease in a bull on another premises, which serves as a great reminder for
producers in the area to vaccinate their animals with the proven and dependable anthrax vaccine.”
The agency said an increase in anthrax cases is common after periods of wet, cool weather, followed by hot, dry conditions. During these conditions, animals can ingest the anthrax bacteria when they consume
contaminated grass and hay, or inhale the spores. Outbreaks usually end when cooler weather arrives.
After exposure to anthrax, it typically takes three to seven days for animals to show symptoms.
Once symptoms begin, death will usually occur within 48 hours. Acute fever followed by rapid death with
bleeding from body openings are all common signs of anthrax in livestock. TAHC emphasize if you observe wild or domestic animals dying, more than 10 animals at a time, and carcasses show bleeding that is characteristic of anthrax, move livestock away from carcasses immediately.
The TAHC urge owners of livestock and animals displaying symptoms consistent with anthrax or experiencing death of animals should contact a private veterinary practitioner or their TAHC Region Office immediately.