diseased elk hoof

An example of a diseased elk hoof.

The presence of elk hoof disease has been confirmed for the first time in Douglas County by veterinarians from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

An adult cow elk, which was seen limping in the Indigo Unit east of Sutherlin before it was killed by a hunter, tested positive for Treponeme Associated Hoof Disease, more commonly known as elk hoof disease.

It was the first known elk with this disease in Douglas County and the southern-most confirmed case in Oregon. Officials are asking the public to report limping elk.

Two more elk from the same herd were observed limping and are being tested. An elk north of Oakland also tested positive for elk hoof disease.

Treponeme Associated Hoof Disease is a bacterial-associated syndrome. Elk with the disease can have deformed, overgrown, broken or sloughed hooves which can be painful and cause limping or lameness when walking.

ODFW is asking the public to use an online form or call 1-866-968-2600 to report limping elk or those with visibly abnormal hooves. The form can be found on https://tinyurl.com/qkxrwh4.

It is unknown how the disease is spread. The meat of elk with the disease is safe to eat.

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at sgodfrey@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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