Chronic Wasting Disease
Chronic Wasting Disease is a progressive, neurological disease of captive and/or free-ranging mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), mule deer hybrids, black-tailed deer, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus canadensis), and Shira’s moose (Alces alces) in North America. Chronic Wasting Disease is characterized by abnormal behavior, teeth grinding, polyuria, and polydipsia, and marked loss of weight. Death usually occurs within a few months of appearance of clinical signs. The precise mechanism of prion spread among deer and elk is unclear, however recent studies show that infection can possibly be transmitted to native deer with the feces, saliva, and urine from prion-infected deer.