Elk Disease Survey in Western Canada and Northwestern United States

  • Judit E. G. Smits
Conference paper


This 10-year study of elk study of elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis) mortality in western Canada and United States is based upon 231 necropsy reports from seven pathology labs. Twenty-five percent of fetuses had confirmed B. abortus infections, and all these came from the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming. Among neonates, dehydration and emaciation accounted for 66% of deaths, followed by enteritis at 25%. Corona virus or E. coli was isolated from more than half the enteritides. E. coli was cultured from seven of ten cases with septicemia. The leading causes of calf morality (26% each) were emaciation, and E. coli or CI perfringens enteritis. Pneumonia, septicemia and trauma each accounted for 17% of calf deaths. Trauma, the major cause of death in mature elk, was seen in 40% of bulls and 26% of cows. Emaciation in mature elk (23%) was seen in conjunction with pneumonia, footrot, trauma, arthritis, and nephritis. Pneumonia (18% of adults) commonly yielded A. pyogenes and P. multocida.

Key words

Elk disease wapiti western Canada northwestern United States 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judit E. G. Smits

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