Mysterious horse deaths under investigation in Wichita County

Local News

WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL)— After dozens of horses mysteriously died in Wichita County and surrounding areas over the last few months, the Wichita County Agricultural Agent has launched an investigation into deaths.

David Graf discussed his findings Tuesday morning with experts from Texas A&M AgriLife, Texas A&M Veterinarian Diagnostic Lab, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and USDA Poisonous Plant Research Lab.

Graf said there isn’t a definitive cause at this time as officials hope to eventually gain a better understanding of this complex issue and how to proceed.

It’s possible kleingrass toxicity could be to blame, Graf said. Even though kleingrass is good grazing for livestock, it can cause liver damage and death in horses, sheep, and goats.

In January, horse owner Jessica Geer had one horse die after she found kleingrass in a bale of hay.

Geer said two more were treated for liver failure. However, samples from local horses were sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Graf said the lab found low toxicity.

In two to three weeks, Graf said officials with Texas A&M and the Natural Resources Conservation Service will come to the area to inspect the fields where these horses were in hopes of finding a cause as the investigation continues.

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