Chuck Rude says he's been lucky. A horse less than a mile from his stable is suffering from a disease usually only seen in the desert southwest. His horses are healthy.
He says he has good idea of why the outbreak is happening.
"It's been so dry. It's carried with infected dust and that dust can blow and that can be any way in Kansas, so we're seeing it pretty widespread through the area," says Rude
He's talking about pigeon fever, an infection caused by bacteria in the soil.
Researchers say the most recent outbreak started in the southwest and has been making its way to Kansas.
Infected horses suffer from muscle abscesses and fever that cause their chests to swell, like a pigeon, that's where they get the name.
"It is spread through dirt and flies so when it gets dry and all that dust is blowing and the bacteria is in that dust, it will get into wounds and often wounds that flies have kept open," says Dr. Jennifer Sullivan.
The veterinarian says she sees maybe 1 to 2 cases a year. This year, more than 50.
"I always think the states that are so much part of the economy that's when it maybe gets more attention," she says.
Pigeon fever comes in a seven-year cycle. Veterinarians say it's hard to know where we are in the cycle.
The disease is also costly. Some horseowners spend hundreds maybe thousands of dollars to treat it. If untreated, the disease can be fatal.
"As with so many other things we've seen, whether it's EPM, West Nile, there seems to be a bit of hype over the issue. It's more the importance of education and everyone being aware of what we can do and what we can't," says Rude.
Veterinarians are hoping the winter weather will slow the outbreak down.