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Elk WILDLIFE DIVISION
Regulating harvest, health, and enhancement of wildlife populations
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Wildlife Health - Diseases

To report sick or dead wildlife, call your local ODFW office or the Wildlife Health Lab toll free number (866-968-2600)

Adenovirus Hemorrhagic Disease of Deer

Adenoviruses belong to a small group of viruses that can infect a wide variety of animals, both wild and domestic. The AHD virus of deer was first identified in California in1994. Infected deer can have clinical signs common to other diseases such as bluetongue or pneumonia. Chronic symptoms include ulcers and abscesses in the mouth and throat. Acute symptoms include rapid or open mouth breathing, foaming or drooling at the mouth, diarrhea (possibly bloody), weakness, and copius amounts of fluid in the body cavity. Death can occur within 3 — 5 days from the time the deer was exposed to the virus. More...

Anticoagulant Rodenticide Poisoning Fact Sheet (pdf)

Avian Flu

A range of viruses, parasites, and bacteria naturally reside in wild bird populations. Most forms of avian influenza or “bird flu” are not harmful to birds or people. The highly pathogenic (HPAI) H5N1 strain of bird flu causing worldwide concern is an exception. HPAI H5N1 is always fatal to domestic poultry and in some circumstances, has killed people that caught the disease through close contact with infected birds. The disease has been found in birds in countries in Europe, Asia and Africa but has never been detected in North America. More...

Chronic Wasting Disease of Deer and Elk

A transmissible spongiform encephalopathy that has been documented in deer, elk or moose in the following states: Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Illinois, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, West Virginia and the Canadian Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. It has not been detected in deer or elk in Oregon.

This disease damages portions of the brain and typically causes progressive loss of body condition, behavioral changes, excessive salivation and death. A type of prion protein has been found in the brains of affected animals, and is believed to be the cause of the disease. More...

Racoons with Distemper

Raccoons can acquire canine distemper, a viral disease that infects foxes, coyotes, skunks, and unvaccinated dogs. The disease does not affect humans. The disease is more likely to occur when raccoon populations are large or concentrated. Wildlife biologists note that it seems to run in cycles of 5-7 years. Not all raccoons get the disease and many do survive these outbreaks. More...

Elk Hoof Disease

Elk hoof disease is a bacterial-associated syndrome causing severe lameness in elk. Elk with the disease can have deformed, overgrown, broken or sloughed hooves causing lameness when walking. The disease is currently present in southwest Washington in the Cowlitz River Basin, Pacific County, Lewis County and Clark County. In Oregon, several hunter-harvested elk with suspicious hoof abnormalities have been submitted and reports of limping elk have been reported from Multnomah and Washington Counties.  

ODFW is requesting hunters report observations of lame or hunter-harvested elk with hoof deformities on the ODFW elk hoof disease reporting form.

Elk hoof disease fact sheet (pdf)

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD)

(EHD) is caused by an infection of a virus with symptoms similar to other hemorrhagic diseases like Bluetongue virus and Adenovirus Hemorrhagic Disease. EHD only affects ruminants, which are hoofed, even-toed animals. Humans and domestic pets such as cats and dogs cannot be infected with the disease. White-tailed deer are particularly susceptible, but it can affect black-tailed deer and mule deer as well.

EHD was confirmed in deer in the Roseburg area of southwestern Oregon in the summer of 2014. ODFW believes this is the first time EHD has been documented in wildlife in Oregon. More...

Feral Swine

Feral pigs are susceptible to a variety of diseases. Four of the more important ones being: brucellosis, pseudorabies, leptospirosis, and trichinosis. More...

Fibromatosis in Deer

Fibromatosis is a common skin disease of white-tailed deer, mule deer, black-tailed deer, and other Cervidae in North America.  There is evidence that the skin tumors, called fibromas, are caused by a papilloma virus. More...

Deer Hair-loss Syndrome

Deer Hair Loss Syndrome (DHLS) is called a syndrome, not a disease, because the cause and method of transmission are not completely understood. The syndrome is most common in black-tailed and Columbian white-tailed deer. Common symptoms include yellow or white appearing hair or bare patches of skin. At first, some deer have darkening or almost black patches of fur. Later, deer may appear emaciated and lethargic, and exhibit excessive loss of hair. More...

Leptospirosis and marine mammals

Leptospirosis is a disease caused by bacteria that can affect people, dogs, cattle, marine mammals, rodents and other wildlife. It occurs throughout the world. In sea lions, clinical signs of leptospirosis include dehydration, increased drinking or urinating, vomiting, depression and a reluctance to use the hind flippers. Depending on the strain of the bacteria, clinical signs are usually the result of dysfunction of the kidneys and/or liver. Symptoms are similar in dogs and other mammals. More... (pdf)

Plague and wildlife

Plague is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Y. pestis is the same organism responsible for the infamous “black death” pandemic affecting millions of people in Europe in the mid-14th century. More... (pdf)

Parasitic Tapeworm (Echinococcus granulosus)

Echinococcus granulosus is a parasitic tapeworm that requires two hosts to complete its life cycle. Ungulates (deer, domestic cattle, domestic sheep, elk, and moose) are intermediate hosts for larval tapeworms, which form hydatid cysts in their body cavity. Canids (wolves, coyotes, dogs, foxes) are definitive hosts where larval tapeworms mature and live in the small intestine. More... (pdf)

West Nile Virus

West Nile virus is carried by mosquitoes; it can infect humans, horses, and birds. Humans get the virus from the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no evidence that the disease can spread from other animals to humans or from person to person. Most infections are mild, causing fever and flu-like symptoms, but severe infections may result in encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), and, rarely, death. More...

White Nose Syndrome (WNS): Impacts to Oregon Bats

White nose syndrome (WNS) is a recently-emerged fungal infection present in bats of the United States and Canada. The fungus, Geomyces destructans, that lives in cold caves and mines where bats hibernate in areas known as hibernacula. The disease was first noted in 2006 in New York and has resulted in mortality rates from 40- 100% in affected hibernacula sites. More... (pdf)

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