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Chronic Wasting Disease: A Serious Concern in North American Wildlife

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a contagious neurological disease that poses a significant threat to wild populations of deer, elk and moose. It causes lesions in the brains of infected animals and leads to a drastic decrease in body condition, visible behavioral abnormalities and ultimately death. CWD has been identified in 20 states and two Canadian provinces.

Since 2007, Morris Animal Foundation has invested in eight different studies examining CWD. With Foundation funding, studies at the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University led to the development of a diagnostic test that detects CWD in saliva early in the disease’s progression.

In another study, funded at the University of California–San Diego, researchers developed tools that allowed them to test which parts of proteins found in the animals may contribute to the development and transmission of the disease. These studies collectively have improved understanding of CWD and will help in its detection, management strategies and ultimate prevention.

The greatest gift to animals is a lifetime of good health, click here to learn more about ways you can help animals today and tomorrow.

By: Allen Byrne

Categories: Animal health
November 26, 2014