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News and Opinion

WOLF-BORN HYDATID DISEASE: FACT VERSUS FALLACY

by TERRI ADAMS, The Prairie Star
There's an uproar over wolves carrying the disease, but they're not the only ones

Many people are in an uproar over wolves and some of those same people are worried about hydatid disease, claiming wolves are carrying and spreading the disease.

While there is some truth to that claim, wolves are not the only carriers of the disease.

Any canine can carry and spread the disease, from wolves and coyotes to the family pet. It depends on the circumstances, not the species.

The disease is caused by a tapeworm and there are nine different strains of the disease, according to Gary McCallister, professor of biology at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo. He has researched hydatid disease in Southern Utah, western Colorado and the Navajo Indian reservation.


McCallister said the eggs need to pass through two different hosts, a carnivore and an ungulate (grazing animal) to complete their cycle.

Hydatid eggs are too tiny to see. When these eggs pass out of an infected canine they can fall on and stick to anything -hair, plants, grasses, he said.

Read the whole story HERE

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