Is CWD 100% Fatal??

Discussion in 'Whitetail Deer Disease' started by Justsayin, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Justsayin

    Justsayin

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    Let's ask Lucky...
    image.png

    Is CWD 100%, invariably fatal? No, no it is not. I do not understand the motivations which continue to cast this dire, fatalistic message.

    We do know… clinical CWD disease is progressive and invariably 100% fatal. Clinical disease occurs when the brain is affected developing sponge-like holes and neurological damage. Clinical deer have typical symptoms we’ve all heard about. It can progress to death within as little as a few days, but more often over a few months, with few lasting a year or more. Rarely are tests being conducted to identify definitive CWD clinical diagnosis by histological examination of brain tissue.

    We do know… exposure to CWD is NOT 100% fatal. In 2002, 39 elk calves were captured from wild herds and transferred to a highly contaminated CWD wildlife research facility in Wyoming. One elk cow, aptly named Lucky, has resided, unaffected, having long outlived pen mates who all perished within 10 years. A rare photo in 2015, showed Lucky, CWD survivor, at 13 years of age, 600lbs and healthy. A 2017 report stated Lucky, rare genotype LL, was to be a part of an upcoming CWD study.

    The good news, Lucky is not a sole survivor, several additional cases have been documented in elk, mule deer and whitetails which give cause for hope. Understanding genetic factors which clearly contribute toward resistance and survival is a key area of important research.
     
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  2. HUBBHUNTER

    HUBBHUNTER

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    I've killed more deer than CWD.
     

  3. timbrhuntr

    timbrhuntr

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    No we have to kill them all !!!
     
  4. eye-sore

    eye-sore

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    Michigan game laws and the over reaction to cwd are much deadlier to the herd than any of us could ever hope to be
     
  5. mjh4

    mjh4

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    Those damn sharp shooters are not going to help solve anything at all. Michigans DNR is just panicking and doesn't know how to react. You'd think they would have learned from wisconsins mistakes but then again we are talking about the Michigan DNR.


    Sent from my iPhone using Michigan Sportsman
     
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  6. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup

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    How many offspring of Lucky have shown the same traits? What is the prevelance rate of that genetic trait?
     
  7. motdean

    motdean

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    Or Pennsylvania's...… ;)
     
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  8. Justsayin

    Justsayin

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    There isn't a lot that has been shared about Lucky. One report indicated that Lucky was bred, at least once, and her calf carried forward the LL genetics.

    I'm not sure if there is anything publicly available on genetic prevalence/distribution specific to these genotypes. One reference inferred 2% based only on this insignificant sample of 1 out of 39.

    I don't understand why genetic resistance has been downplayed or dismissed by wildlife agencies. What is gained by shutting out a source of light, beyond a desire to prove how dark it is and will continue to be??
     
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  9. Joe Archer

    Joe Archer Staff Member Mods

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    Even if there were genetic resistance, it would take thousands and thousands of years for natural selection to counter CWD. In the interim, prevalence would keep increasing. When prevalence reaches a certain level suffering and death will ensue.
    Do not look at CWD as a disease that will effect your hunting, or even your children's. Think of CWD as being in its infancy right now, and imagine what it will be like in another 100 years or so in Wisconsin.
    <----<<<
     
  10. Justsayin

    Justsayin

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    Neither hysteria (fear of everything) or complacency (fear of nothing) is helpful in this fight.

    I am painfully aware of what CWD is and am learning more everyday about what it is not. Truth will allow objective consideration and pursuit of actions which offer the greatest long term benefit.

    Unlike you, I choose not to dismiss hope so quickly. Genetic resistance is one spark of light in a void of darkness. If CWD is highly contagious, non-resistant members will be effected. CWD positive animals are more susceptible to predators and accidental death. In a study out west, positive animals were also more likely to be harvested by hunters. Natural selection, aided by unnatural selection, will reduce the timeline for genetic resistance.

    This is only possible if we value this potential enough... if decision makers change course, if we don't kill all the deer to keep them from dying. If we can seek to assist in removal of the weakest, those most likely to have disease, perhaps hunters can have meaningful effect to save the species that drives our passion.
     
  11. G20man

    G20man Banned

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    Did Lucky live with cwd or did Lucky just not contract cwd?
     
  12. Justsayin

    Justsayin

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    As I understand it Lucky has not contracted CWD. Live testing - negative results.
     
  13. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup

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    From what I’m gathering Lucky is 1 in 10 million North American elk that may or may not have CWD. She has never been confirmed as CWD negative but only as a survivor. The only way we will know for sure is when she is tested after she is dead. I’m not overly optimistic.
     
  14. G20man

    G20man Banned

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    My guess lucky for whatever reason never contracted cwd.
    Maybe there is a resistance to it with some animals.
    If so I believe yes cwd is 100% fatal IF AN ANIMAL CONTRACTS THE DISEASE.
     
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  15. Justsayin

    Justsayin

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    Agreed, when the disease occurs in the brain (ie clinical), it is 100% fatal. Testing for CWD disease is also 100% fatal. We don't know if deer/elk testing positive in lymph nodes, with tests which can only detect markers of disease potential, would always progress to develop clinical CWD disease resulting in death.

    If we think about the function of lymph nodes, they exist to filter toxins, waste and other materials as an immune system response to protect the body. I'm questioning if CWD prions entering the body, could be found in lymph nodes just doing their job. I began wondering this when I learned that no other prion disease is definitively diagnosed as positive without examination of the brain stem for pathologic changes, lesions or plaques. Just trying to understand, ask questions, and encourage further discussion.

    As for Lucky... at 17 yrs old, Lucky is much more than incredibly "lucky, having lived her entire life in the most highly infected environment on the planet and by some miracle not contracting this reportedly highly contagious disease that is expected to cause extinction. This is not just a lark, the LL genotype is represented in 2-10% (200K - 1Mil) of the 10 million NA Elk.

    [​IMG]
     
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