Parvovirus Found in Wolf Killed in Hailey, Idaho

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On January 22, a Hailey-area homeowner killed a wolf that 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.

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. On February 14, lab reports came back positive for parvo, which causes vomiting and diarrhea, and ultimately death from dehydration.

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 closely 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.