Elk hoof rot cases on the rise in Oregon

ODFW has confirmed 16 cases of hoof disease in Oregon elk since 2014

The disease generically called hoof rot that is affecting elk in southwestern Washington either causes an elk’s hoof to grow abnormally or decay away. (Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife)
The disease generically called hoof rot that is affecting elk in southwestern Washington either causes an elk’s hoof to grow abnormally or decay away. (Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says elf hoof rot cases are on the rise in Oregon.

ODFW has confirmed 16 cases of hoof disease in Oregon elk since the first case was reported in 2014.

Examples of elk hoof rot and lesions from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website, Feb. 14, 2014
Examples of elk hoof rot and lesions from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website, Feb. 14, 2014

Veterinarians are reminding hunters to watch out for limping elk that may have the debilitating disease. Any sightings of hoof rot should be reported to ODFW at 866.968.2600.

The disease is a bacterial infection that causes severe lameness in elk.

“Elk with the disease have deformed and overgrown or broken sloughed hooves and other hoof abnormalities related to the infection,” ODFW said.

Hoof disease doesn’t affect the meat of elk harvested by hunters and poses no risk to human health.

Scientists have tracked the same disease among the elk population in Washington.