Ed Bangs wrote “MFWP [Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks] veterinarian Mark Atkinson examined and keyed out some ‘unidentified eggs’ submitted by Kent Laudon (MFWP Kalispell, MT), from wolf NW112M. They were in fact, proglottids of Echinococcus granulosus, the tapeworm that is responsible for Hydatid disease. The tapeworm has a two stage life cycle. The adult tapeworm is attached in the canid gut and sheds eggs that are ingested by ungulates. The eggs develop into embryos that migrate out of the gut to form cysts in the ungulate’s lungs, liver, and other tissues. When the tissue with cysts is ingested by canids, the larval tapeworm develops into an adult tapeworm in the canid digestive tract- starting the life cycle again. Human infection from wild canid scat is almost nonexistent in North America, but anyone routinely handling wolf scat should be careful not to inhale eggs from dried wolf scat and to careful wash after handing wolf scat to avoid ingestion of eggs.”

People who hate wolves have tried to scare people with facts like these, but the truth is the scat of every predatory mammal and omnivores (like bears) is likely to carry parasites. This includes free running dogs and cats.

People do not normally smell or eat dog, coyote, cougar or bear scat. The scat of the domestic cat has infected millions of folks with toxoplasmosis, which is primarily dangerous to pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems

So if you are dumb enough to eat wolf shit, you certainly do have something to worry about, but that disgusting thought should put this “threat” into perspective.

For information about a much more likely threat, read “Intestinal Parasites of Dogs and Cats.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides.

2 Responses to Wolf scat is potentially dangerous.

  1. avatar Rob Edward says:

    Dang it! I have a Mason jar of dessicated Mexican Wolf scat from the Gila Wilderness that I’ve been savin’ for just the right bottle of tequila!

    On second thought . . . don’t worms go good with tequila?

  2. avatar Jim Thurber says:

    Just when I think the ranchers and other anti-wolf
    folks have reached the zenith of hyperbole, now comes
    the toxic scat tactic. I expect it from them at this point
    the lies and half truths. Hey, fear mongering works for
    this administration to hide the truth of their failures, so why
    not try it in other areas as well?

    What concerns me even more, though, is the seemingly endless
    capacity for the general public to be lied to without them having
    a clue about questioning the assertion such as the scat scare. What
    has caused such a lack of critical thinking and healthy skepticism?
    Too much reliance on quick skimming instruments such as the 20 second
    sound bite that passes for most folks feeling as if they are informed
    about a subject? Video numbness? Seems as if reading a newspaper, or
    heaven forbid, a book, is simply too much to ask of JQP these
    days.

    Anyone with a solution–please distribute as widely as possible! :*)

    Jim Thurbe

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey