Unraveling the Mysteries of Chronic Wasting Disease

During 2001 and 2002, the Animal Disease Surveillance Unit (ADSU) participated in a number of on-farm investigations for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in farmed elk. Our Unit’s involvement has been triggered by two circumstances, namely: where it is suspected that a premise will be designated as highly contaminated, or where the apparent source of the … Continue reading

Ticks (Babesia)

Babesiasis (babesia) is a tick-born, parasitic disease of mammals caused by protozoa of the genus Babesia. The disease is characterized by high fever, anemia and reddened urine (hemoglobinuria). Many discussions of the disease also mention Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Tick Fever, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, as being similar to Babesiasis. Although different organisms cause … Continue reading

Some Facts about Chronic Wasting Disease

What Is It? Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a progressive, fatal disease of the nervous system of cervids such as mule deer, white-tailed deer and elk. A report from the World Health Organization indicates that there is some evidence of genetic resistance to CWD among elk/wapiti, but not among the other deer species. It is … Continue reading

Rethinking Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE) disease affecting both wild and domestic deer and elk. All TSE diseases are now grouped under the term of “prion” diseases in recognition of the disease’s destructive effect upon the protective protein particles shielding nerve cells. Prion diseases are fundamentally diseases of membrane tissue, although … Continue reading

Reindeer Die from West Nile Virus

Reindeer owners have frequently heard that “cervids are cervids” or “deer are deer.” From anecdotal experience, we believe that reindeer respond differently than many other cervids to various disease and testing situations. Presentations during annual USAHA meetings have demonstrated that these experiences are being validated by scientific studies. Last year USDA APHIS veterinarians, Drs Mike … Continue reading

Possible Origins of Chronic Wasting Disease

Fort Collins, Colorado – A state Division of Wildlife biologist believes a nutritional study he conducted with deer, sheep and goats in the late 1960s might have been the genesis of chronic wasting disease. Gene Schoonveld suspects some of the sheep in his study had scrapie, a relative of chronic wasting disease. Some of the … Continue reading

Possible Causes of Chronic Wasting Disease Discovered

According to this story, Dr. Janne Drisko, a physician, treated a patient with a fatal human brain degeneration that’s closely related to the mysterious mad-cow and chronic wasting diseases. Her patient died in 2000. But the woman’s life had been prolonged by heavy doses of antioxidants – vitamins that reduce inflammation. Drisko didn’t know why, … Continue reading

Parasites in Reindeer

While parasites have a major impact on the well-being of a herd, modern control methods have dramatically decreased that impact. A variety of parasitic organisms live in reindeer. A few of the more unique but in general, information about life cycles and control methods used to manage parasitic diseases in domestic ruminants can be directly … Continue reading

Infectious Diseases Affecting Reindeer and Other Cervids

Brucellosis Brucellosis is a bacterial disease which is endemic in most herds in Alaska and Northern Canada. Before establishing a new arming herd, reindeer should always be tested and negative serologically for brucellosis. Brucellosis is a reportable disease in Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) veterinarians require the testing of reindeer prior to … Continue reading

Deworming Deer and Elk

Safeguard and Panacur are just a couple of names for the anthelmintic (anti-parasitic) drug fenbendazole. It is available for oral administration (granules, crumbles & paste) and in some cases by prescription only. It is moderately effective in treating intestinal worms and lungworm but not particularly effective on adult liver flukes. Withdrawal times established in New … Continue reading