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Tumors or cancer can be caused by a variety of things, although often the specific cause is not known.
Signs Of Disease
Tumors vary in size and location. Tumors that are external are usually easy to identify because they are visible and can be very large. Internal tumors are usually not found unless an animal dies or is harvested. Large tumors or tumors that are widespread in various organ systems can cause illness or death in animals.
Where is Disease Found?
Tumors have been reported from a variety of animals worldwide, but are usually only seen in individuals. Tumors have been reported from a variety of species of wildlife in Idaho.
How Can I Protect Myself?
Tumors in wildlife are not known to be transmissible to humans. Rubber or latex gloves should be worn when handling animals that have tumors that are infected with bacteria or that lack a sufficient blood supply and become necrotic.
Samples to Collect
Tumors can be collected whole or in small pieces and kept cold or refrigerated until they can be delivered to a conservation officer or an Idaho Fish and Game Regional Office. Small pieces of tumors can be placed in 10% formalin for diagnostic purposes.
Can I Eat The Meat?
Meat from animals that have tumors is suitable for human consumption. Judicious trimming of affected tissues is warranted.
What is IDFG doing to help manage this disease?:
Tumors are usually present in individual animals and do not present concerns for populations of wildlife.