Anthrax has been confirmed in a whitetail deer in southeastern Edwards County. This is the second confirmed case of Anthrax in Texas this year; the first in a deer. In June 2014, Texas reported a confirmed anthrax case in a goat in Kinney County.
The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) rules require proper disposal of affected carcasses and vaccination of livestock on the premises prior to release of the quarantine.
Anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, which is a naturally occurring organism with worldwide distribution, including certain parts of Texas. It is not uncommon for anthrax to be diagnosed
in livestock or wildlife in the southwestern part of the state. A vaccine is available for use in susceptible livestock in high risk areas.
Acute fever followed by rapid death with bleeding from body openings are common signs of anthrax in livestock. Carcasses may also appear bloated and decompose quickly. Livestock displaying symptoms consistent with Anthrax should be reported to a private veterinary practitioner or a TAHC official. If affected livestock or carcasses must be handled, producers are encouraged to follow basic sanitation precautions such as wearing protective gloves, long sleeve shirts and washing thoroughly afterward to prevent accidental spread of the bacteria to people.
“The TAHC will continue to closely monitor the situation for possible new cases across the state. Producers are encouraged to consult their veterinary practitioner or local TAHC office if they have questions about the disease,” said Dr. T.R. Lansford, TAHC Assistant Executive Director for Animal Health Programs.