Diseases of Wildlife:
Patrice N. Klein, MS VMD DACPV DACVPM
Senior Staff Veterinarian
Wildlife Disease Liaison
USDA/APHIS/VS – Riverdale, MD
Big Horn Sheep
Bear (Grizzly, Black)
Fox (Red, Grey, Artic)
Insufficient food resources, wintertime, drought,
physical problems (injury, bad teeth, parasites)
Young, old, weak, sick most susceptible
Appearance- dull, rough hair coat, sunken eyes,
prominent bones of
pelvis, general weakness
Absence of pericardial, peri-renal fat,
abdominal fat, subcutaneous fat on
Bone marrow scoring and body
condition index (BCI)
Anerobic, spore forming bacteria that persists in
environment for years.
All mammals are susceptible
. Ruminants (cattle,
sheep, goats, bison, deer, antelope, camel) are
Horses, swine, dogs, cats, and
humans have moderate susceptibility.
carnivores have natural resistance.
TX – 2005, 2007 (deer, cattle)
NE, ND, SD, NM, MT
– 2008, 2009
(cattle, bison, horses)
NWT, Canada – 2010 (bison)
Ingestion of contaminated water,
soil, food; inhalation of spores in dust; insect
bites/ skin wounds; Spores germinate in lymph
nodes, multiply, and release toxins.
High fever, muscle tremors,
swollen lymph nodes, dysphagia, dyspnea,
convulsions, colic, enteritis,
(unclotted), death without rigor mortis.
Ataxia, sudden death, rapid bloating, bloody
DO NOT OPEN CARCASS!
Incubation 1-14 day range