Idaho Fish and Game confirmed a case of Treponema Associated Hoof Disease (TAHD) in an elk harvested in 2018 by a hunter near White Bird, a small town in western Idaho about 15 miles from the Oregon state line. It marks the first animal diagnosed with TAHD in Idaho. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is asking people to report elk showing symptoms.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife established a research project at Washington State University to learn more about the TAHD and its effect on elk populations. Idaho sent its samples to WSU for definitive diagnosis and testing of TAHD.
TAHD is caused by a spirochete bacterium that causes hoof abnormalities and lameness in elk. This is the same hoof disease that has been observed in elk in Washington and Oregon. While TAHD is not a bacteria associated with domestic livestock, Fish and Game is coordinating with the Idaho State Department of Agriculture on the issue.
TAHD is a relatively new condition in elk that was first recognized in 2000 in Washington. Since then, the condition has been identified in several elk herds in Washington, and in 2014, it was found in Northwest Oregon.
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(Photo source: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)