Anthrax Confirmed in TexasBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · June 28, 2012
The first confirmed case of anthrax in a Texas animal for 2012 has been detected in an adult white-tailed male deer near Uvalde in southwest Texas. It is not unusual for anthrax to be diagnosed in wildlife in this area of Texas.
Though domestic livestock can be infected with anthrax, at this time no domestic livestock are involved in the outbreak. Horses are somewhat less susceptible to anthrax than cattle and sheep, probably due to differences in their respective digestive systems. Humans are moderately resistant but can be infected with the disease.
The bacteria that cause anthrax, Bacillus anthracis, can be found all over the world, and spores can remain inactive in the soil for years. Horses can become infected when they ingest the spores while grazing. A preventive vaccine is available for horses located in areas where anthrax is endemic.
According to Dee Ellis, the Texas state veterinarian, animal health officials are monitoring the situation for possible new cases across the state, and livestock producers are encouraged to consult their veterinary practitioner for updates.