PREDATORS — Lab reports released Tuesday show that a wolf killed Jan. 22 near Hailey, Idaho, was suffering from parvovirus, which causes vomiting and diarrhea and ultimately death from dehydration.
The homeowner killed the wolf after it had been observed near his house for at least two days and was acting sick or injured.
Immediately after killing the wolf, the homeowner notified Idaho Fish and Game. Two Fish and Game officers arrived and retrieved the dead wolf, a juvenile female. The animal was emaciated and had green fluid diarrhea.
Read on for details.
Fish and Game wildlife veterinarian Mark Drew preformed a standard necropsy, including submitting tissue samples to test for rabies as well as parvovirus – a common canine virus. Test results were negative for rabies.
Parvovirus is highly contagious, and is often fatal in canids, including wolves. Pups between six weeks and six months are more susceptible than adults. Domestic dogs can be vaccinated against parvovirus.
This was not the first time parvo has been found in wild wolves.
In August 2009, six juvenile wolves were found dead on national forest land north of Fairfield. Necropsies on the partially decomposed wolves eventually determined the cause of death to be canine parvoviral enteritis.
Idaho Fish and Game works with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the State Department of Agriculture on monitoring diseases of human health and livestock concern found in wildlife.