You can help wildlife officials and researchers monitor and prevent the spread of elk hoof disease, a debilitating disease in elk that causes deformed, overgrown, broken, or sloughed hooves.
The disease – now also known as treponeme-associated hoof disease (TAHD) – was first described as a local issue in southwest Washington, but it is now a regional concern affecting elk in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and California.
What should I do if I see a limping elk?
If you see a limping elk or one with deformed hooves, it is important to follow state wildlife regulations and report the animal.
- Washington – Visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website to report possibly infected animals and for regulations requiring hooves of elk harvested in affected areas to be left onsite.
- Oregon – Visit the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website to report suspected cases of elk hoof disease and for steps to take if you harvest an elk or locate a dead animal with suspected hoof disease.
- Idaho – Visit the Idaho Fish and Game’s website to report suspected cases of elk hoof disease.
- California – Visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to report lame, limping elk, or elk with abnormal hooves.
- For all other states, contact your state’s department of fish and wildlife.
What can I do if I suspect elk hoof disease in privately-owned farmed elk?
If you suspect elk hoof disease in privately-owned farmed elk, work with your veterinarian to submit samples to the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at WSU.
Where can I have hooves from a harvested elk tested for elk hoof disease?
If you would like to have hooves from a harvested elk tested, submit samples to the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at WSU.