AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Texas A&M AgriLife Extension officials said area veterinarians are helping producers with livestock lost after wildfires ravished the Texas Panhandle.
The number of dead animals is now up to 4,000, but AgriLife officials said the summer months could pose even more problems for the cattle who suffered injuries. Dr. Tom Latta said summer pneumonia has affected cattle following wildfires in the past, and that could be an issue again this summer.
"When cattle are stressed by heat or excessive cold rain, they are more prone to having problems," said Latta.
Hemphill County's Agriculture and Natural Resources AgriLife Agent Andy Holloway said local vets are still working around the clock to help those in need.
"They have certainly stepped up, helped our ranchers and they're still doing it. Because a lot of these cattle that didn't get burned have now have respiratory ailments that all the smoke and ash and things that these animals have breathed for weeks on weeks now have damaged their lungs," said Holloway.
Dr. Latta said if the cow is severely injured, the humane thing to do is put them down. While there's not a lot you can do to prevent respiratory problems to the cows that survived the flames, he says there's things you can do to help them stay healthy.
"It's going to require a closer observation, up until weaning time to pick out the individual animal that does develop respiratory problems. Provide plenty of water, make sure they have shade and an excellent nutritional system to help the immune system and help the healing process," said Latta.
For more warning signs of internal injuries to your cattle, you should contact your local veterinarian.