Animal Health Update: Issue 24


Issue 24

Michigan Chronic Wasting Disease Update

farmed deer

Reports of chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal nervous system disease found in cervids (deer, moose, and elk), has been in the news lately. The disease attacks the brain of infected animals, creating small lesions, which result in neurologic symptoms.

The disease was first discovered in Michigan in a farmed deer in 2008 and free-ranging deer in May 2015. To date, more than 37,000 free-ranging deer in Michigan have been tested for CWD and it has been confirmed in 69 free-ranging deer from seven Michigan counties. More than 22,000 farmed deer have been tested and four have tested positive for CWD from two counties (Kent and Mecosta).

It's important to share the message that hunters can help by continuing to hunt and having their deer tested by submitting heads to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). A list of check locations is available at  

The Animal Industry Division (AID) is committed to maintaining healthy cervid populations behind fences in Michigan. AID has issued orders for a Privately Owned Cervid Special Surveillance Area around each positive deer. Special Surveillance Area actions by AID may include quarantines, permitted movement, and increased CWD testing. Special Surveillance Areas now include Clinton, Calhoun, Dickinson, Eaton, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kent, Lenawee, Mecosta, Menominee, Montcalm, and Newaygo counties. There are 69 herds in these surveillance areas.

Detection of CWD in a farmed cervid operation results in a quarantine of the facility, traces of deer into and out of the facility, testing of additional deer at the facility and trace animals, and creation of a herd plan that may include depopulation or long-term quarantine and testing.

Private practitioners play an important role in AID’s CWD surveillance on farmed cervid operations, as CWD submissions from producers are generally submitted  from private practice veterinarians. If you would like more information on CWD sample submission, contact the AID Cervid Program at 517-284-5679.

To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in humans. More information can be found at

Hot Topic:

African Swine Fever


African swine fever (ASF), an acute deadly disease of swine, has put America’s pig farmers on alert. In China, there have been 59 reported outbreaks in 14 provinces and municipalities. Considering the US imports a considerable amount of feedstuffs, particularly vitamins and minerals, from China, there is concern that the virus may travel to the US in feed ingredients.

African swine fever is a foreign animal disease and has never been found in the Western Hemisphere. ASF causes severe depression, high fever, purple ears and extremities, and is nearly always fatal. If ASF was found in the US, there would be a federal response and severe economic consequences. As part of the response,  exporting pork products would be halted imediately; the movement of live swine into and out of affected states would stop; and farms would be quarantined and depopulated.

Michigan continues to work on emergency preparedness plans for ASF, which would enable the Animal Industry Division to respond swiftly, work with the industry, and ensure business continuity.

Companion Animal, Equine, and Camelid

Disease Update

Disease Species Case Count
(as of
10- 31-18)
Canine Influenza Canine 160 Allegan, Barry, Genesee (6), Huron, Kent (39), Livingston (11), Macomb (37), Oakland (42), Ottawa (13), St Clair, Washtenaw (2), Wayne (6)
Leptospirosis Canine 115 Barry, Bay (3), Berrien, Calhoun, Cheboygan, Crawford, Eaton, Genesee, Gratiot (2), Ingham (5), Isabella, Kalamazoo (3),  Kent (4), Lapeer (2), Lenawee (2), Livingston (2), Macomb (20), Monroe (6), Muskegon, Oakland (23), Ottawa, Saginaw (4),  St Clair, Van Buren, Washtenaw (4), Wayne (21) Note: For two cases, the county is unknown
Rabies Bats 71 Alpena (2), Arenac, Bay, Benzie (2),Berrien (2), Branch, Calhoun, Chippewa, Eaton (3), Ingham (9), Ionia, Jackson, Kent (4), Lake, Lapeer, Leelanau (2), Livingston (2), Macomb (4), Mason (2), Mecosta (2), Midland (5), Montcalm, Muskegon (3), Oakland (2), Oceana, Roscommon, Saginaw, St Clair,
St Joseph (2), Washtenaw (6), Wayne
Rabies Skunks 2 Oakland (2)
Strangles Equine 18 Chippewa, Clinton, Ionia, Livingston (2), Montcalm, Otsego, Shiawassee,
St Clair (2), Washtenaw (5), Wayne (3)
West Nile Virus Avian—Companion Animal (Psittacine) 1 Ingham
West Nile Virus Equine 2 Gratiot, Muskegon
West Nile Virus New World Camelid (Alpaca) 1 Isabella
Brucellosis Canine 2 Montcalm, Schoolcraft