Second Horse Contracts Anthrax in Texas

As of July 16, the Texas Animal Health Commission has added a Crockett County horse to the list of animals in the state affected by anthrax in 2019.
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Second Horse Contracts Anthrax in Texas
According to a TAHC media release, eight premises in Crockett, Sutton, and Uvalde counties have had animals confirmed with anthrax year to date. | Photo: Courtesy Texas Animal Health Commission
As of July 16, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has added a Crockett County horse to the list of animals in the state affected by anthrax in 2019. A horse in neighboring Sutton County died in late June, as reported by the state on July 9.

According to a TAHC media release, eight premises in Crockett, Sutton, and Uvalde counties have had animals confirmed with anthrax year to date. These animals include antelope, goats, horses, and cattle. The TAHC quarantined each premises after animals tested positive for the reportable disease. Quarantines are typically lifted 10 days from vaccination or the last death, according to the Equine Disease Communication Center.

Anthrax is a deadly disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming bacterium that occurs worldwide. If the carcass of an animal that dies from anthrax isn’t handled and disposed of properly, the bacteria can lie dormant in the soil and resurface under specific weather conditions. Increases in anthrax cases are common after periods of wet, cool weather, followed by hot, dry conditions, the state’s release said. During these conditions, animals ingest the anthrax bacteria when they consume contaminated grass and hay or inhale the spores. Outbreaks usually end when cooler weather arrives.

Animals typically exhibit clinical signs of disease three to seven days after anthrax exposure, and death usually occurs within 48 hours

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Written by:

Michelle Anderson is the former digital managing editor at The Horse. A lifelong horse owner, Anderson competes in dressage and enjoys trail riding. She’s a Washington State University graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in business administration and extensive coursework in animal sciences. She has worked in equine publishing since 1998. She currently lives with her husband on a small horse property in Central Oregon.

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