Callaway County is experiencing an unusually high incidence of anaplasmosis, a blood disease caused by a parasite, in cattle this fall, Dr. Bob Barnett, a Callaway County veterinarian, said Friday.
"I know of 15 to 20 cases of the anaplasmosis disease in cattle during the last 30 days in Callaway County," Barnett said.
Dr. Robert Basnett, a retired Fulton veterinarian, said the fall of the year usually accounts for most breakouts of the disease.
Dr. Gayle Johnson, interim director of the Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, said cattle blood tests performed by the university laboratory have experienced a spike in the cattle recently, which is typical of the disease.
"The highest percentage of positive results for disease normally occur in September," Johnson said.
She added, "The major manifestations of the disease are severe anemia and usually jaundice is seen."
Johnson said the disease basically starts in white-tail deer in Missouri. Biting flies, such as horseflies, transmits the tiny parasite to cattle, which attacks the blood cells of animals. Ticks also can transmit the disease.