Blackleg disease in cattle result of current dry conditions

Call it part of the ripple effect from the dry conditions around the state; a bacterial infection that occurs during drought has claimed cattle in herds in Lonoke and Sebastian counties.

The good news, Tom Troxel with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture says so-called "blackleg" can be inexpensively prevented with vaccines.

"With dry conditions and short supplies of forages, cattle are grazing closer to the ground", Troxel said, "when this occurs, it is common for cattle to ingest small soil particles that may contain the blackleg bacterium".

Blackleg usually affects young cattle between six months and two years of age, but it's not unusual for adult cattle to die from the disease as well.

Troxel says the cost of the vaccine to prevent blackleg is about 70 - 80 cents per dose.