The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Cure available for elk hoof rot


To The Eagle:

The short article on hoof rot on page 9 of the May 10, 2018, Wahkiakum County Eagle merits a response. “Crippling elk hoof disease found in Eastern Washington,” is not surprising news. What is surprising is that it is reported. I will not be surprised when it is found soon in Idaho and Montana. No doubt every effort will be made to hide it from the public, but it will come, and then Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and on and on.

Their report that their solution is to kill all the sick elk is a sick (no pun intended) and ineffective “solution” because all the herd mates are carriers but cannot be identified as such. To eradicate the disease every heard member must be killed, for this is a slow infectious disease that has eliminated whole herds already.

Scientists’ time would best be spent identifying the true cause, leptospira, and preparing a live non-virulent vaccine and spraying it on the grazing grounds for all elk to eat and be cured. Such a vaccine was discovered in 1971 by a fellow named Stalheim and he published it. It even cured the carriers which are the main spreaders of the disease. He did this in cattle; it will most likely work in elk. They can also spray such a vaccine on elk. They lick themselves and each other. This project is simple, easy, and inexpensive. Very doable.

Boone Mora

Doctor of Public Health



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