Source: Bovine Veterinarian

After wildfires in the Texas Panhandle, the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory warns livestock owners of potential respiratory issues in surviving animals due to smoke inhalation. Dr. Alexis Thompson anticipates increased cases of heavy breathing and coughing among cattle exposed to flames or smoke. Smoke contains fine particles that irritate respiratory tracts, leading to pulmonary edema. Antimicrobials may prevent secondary bacterial infections, but many animals may require euthanasia due to limited treatment options. Livestock, including cattle, horses, and poultry, can suffer from respiratory distress.

The lab offers diagnostic testing and advises collaboration with veterinarians, especially for antimicrobial treatment to ensure food safety. Stress from evacuations and confinement post-fire exacerbates health risks. Monitoring for signs of respiratory distress and providing adequate hydration and low-stress handling are crucial for animal recovery. TVMDL conducts diagnostic testing for insured livestock and horses for post-mortem evaluation if needed.

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