Vet’s View on Tapeworms, Wolves, Coyotes, Foxes and Elk

Respected wildlife vet says reintroduced wolves had no tapeworms when they were brought down from Canada-

The anti-wolf fringe is working 26-hours a day trying to scare people about wolves and tapeworms. The media has hardly bothered to cover them, so with each news release they get more extreme. They are having a rally at Libby MT where they say even the air in NW Montana is dangerous to breathe because it is full of tapeworm larva.

There is no doubt that maybe half the wolves are infested with Echinococcus, but Mark Johnson who participated in the wolf capture and treatment of the new wolves says they didn’t have this infestation when they were processed.

As I’ve said from the start, the parasite was already here. A Google search tracked its presence in Oregon in deer back to the 1920s.

Vet’s View on Tapeworms, Wolves, Coyotes, Foxes and Elk. Public News Service.

“[Veterinarian Mark] Johnson notes that human cases are rare since egg-laden feces must be ingested to become infected.”

So it’s doubtful anyone is going to be infected with Echinococcus except those stupid enough to eat canid shit, but given the hysteria from this band of clowns who knows what they’ll do. 😉






  1. Maska Avatar

    Anybody who has ever had a dog infested with tapeworm knows this argument by the wolf detractors is bogus in the extreme. Our first dog, acquired from a rather unscrupulous breeder in the Midwest, had tapeworm, along with roundworms and hookworms–the whole works–when he arrived as a four-month-old pup.

    We treated him according to the vet’s advice, took reasonable precautions (e.g. handwashing after cleaning up after him), and were careful not to “ingest” his feces (yuk). He was fine after treatment, and we remained tapeworm-free. Nor did we acquire roundworms or hookworms.

    Parents of small children who find themselves with a pet harboring tapeworm–or any kind of parasite–should monitor their children’s interactions with the pet, but if this were a big issue, nobody would keep dogs or cats. As for wolves…well, unless you go around looking for wild canid scats to munch, you’re probably quite safe.

    Is there anything some folks aren’t afraid of? ^..^

  2. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    My guess is that the most likely point of infection of wolves would be domestic sheep as it is pretty well documented that sheepherders represent the highest percentage of human cases for this disease historically.
    Hope everyone enjoyed that leg of lamb this past Easter.

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Jeff E

    And I think we can guess correctly that those who are leading the tapeworm hysteria are not people who give a damn about protection of the sheepherders.

  4. Cody Coyote Avatar

    If this cyst were found in Bison , the Montana Department of Livestock would immediately begin a quarantine, test and slaughter program , wouldn’t they ? So Let’s ask them to do the same for domestic cattle and sheep, the carriers of the Big E.

    Once people realize this worm is prevalent, the Wolves didn’t bring it from Canada but inherited it from local deer and elk and maybe an occasional barnyard or range animal that they themselves also live around and consume with vigor , this worthless rhetorical issue should subside.

    The real disease at work here here is Mass Hysteria among the anti-wolfers, who grasp and grope for anything to indict wolves, however preposterous. In the end, that embarrasses them or annulls their rhetoric. Or at least it should.

    1. Elk275 Avatar

      There is another way to look at this: most people do not have horses, but find someone with horses and help them with worming. The next day go out in the pasture and kick some new horse truds. If one saw all the dead worms there would a new effort to restrict or outlaw horse ownership.

  5. Phil Maker Avatar
    Phil Maker

    Eat up you fear-mongering anti-wolfers, in order to make your case that wolves are destined to be the ruin of the NRM states! Bon appetit.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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