Ranchers in Nebraska are warned to keep careful watch over their animals as anthrax is confirmed as having killed a dozen cattle in two South Dakota herds last month, including one herd near the Nebraska border.
Veterinarian Dr. Courtney Wheeler says anthrax typically affects cattle, sheep and goats and is almost always fatal.
Dr. Wheeler says, “If any producer is suspicious of anthrax on their premises, if they find animals that have suddenly died of unknown causes, we encourage them to contact their herd veterinarian immediately.”
South Dakota officials say eight cattle died from anthrax in Clark County, in the northeast, and four more died in Bon Homme County in the southeast, along the Missouri River.
Ranchers who are in areas that have been impacted by the recent heavy rains and high water should be particularly vigilant.
“We often see a higher incidence of anthrax in areas with heavy flooding, excavation or following heavy rainstorms,” she says.
Wheeler say producers in areas where anthrax has been previously identified should vaccinate their animals.
Anthrax can quickly cause the loss of a large number of animals. Also, people are susceptible to the disease and should seek medical attention right away if they may’ve been exposed.