Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Secondary Site Navigation
Parasites and Diseases
A Field Guide
TO COMMON WILDLIFE DISEASES
AND PARASITES IN ALASKA
|What causes lumpy jaw?|
- Lumpy jaw is caused by bacteria normally found in the mouths of healthy animals.
- The bacteria can enter through wounds in the mouth, which can be caused by coarse feed or when teeth break through the gums during development.
|Where does lumpy jaw occur?|
- Lumpy jaw can be found in ungulates such as sheep, caribou and moose throughout their range in Alaska.
- The disease does not spread between animals.
|What are the signs of lumpy jaw?|
- Infection of the jaw bone itself causes firm swellings that can be quite large.
- Swellings containing thick yellow pus (abscesses) can also be found around the mouth and jaw.
- Lumpy jaw may interfere with the animal’s ability to eat.
- Other than the swelling on the jaw, animals may appear healthy.
|How can I protect myself?|
- You cannot get lumpy jaw from infected animals.
- Be careful not to cut into pus-filled swellings. If this happens, pus can be spread and contaminate other parts of the carcass.
|Can I eat the meat?|
- Parts containing abscesses should not be eaten.
- The remainder of the carcass is suitable for human consumption.
|Samples to collect|