Wildlife Diseases

Infections & Parasites

In This Section

Liver Abscess


An abscess is a localized bacterial infection that often contains white, green, or yellow creamy material.

Aspergillosis Fungal Plaques On Bird Lung


Aspergillosis is a fungal infection caused by several Aspergillus species.

Avian Pox In A Wild Turkey

Avian Pox

Avian pox is caused by a virus and has been shown to infect numerous species of birds worldwide.


Brainworm (Meningeal Worm)

Brainworm is caused by the parasitic roundworm Parelaphostrongylus tenuis.

Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

CWD is a slow-progressing disease affecting members of the deer family (cervids).

Cysticercus (Cyst) in muscle Tissue


Cysts, often resembling fluid-filled bladders, can appear on the surface of several organs in the abdomen as well as in the muscle tissue.



Canine and feline distemper are caused by two different viruses that affect wild and domestic carnivores.


Fibromas (Papillomas, Warts)

These growths are variable in color, texture, number, and size (from a dime to a baseball), and often found around eyes and neck.

Hair Loss

Hair Loss Syndrome

Hair loss can be caused by a variety of bacteria, parasites, and fungi.

Hemal Nodes

Hemal Nodes

Hemal nodes are pea-sized spherical structures embedded within the fatty tissues of the body.

Deer Victim of Hemorrhagic Disease

Hemorrhagic Disease

Biting midge flies in the genus Culicoides spread the viruses that cause the disease.

Bald Eagle suffering from Lead Toxicosis

Lead Toxicosis (Lead Poisoning)

Symptoms of lead poisoning may include weakness, drooping wings, inability to fly, and green, watery diarrhea.

Adult Raccoons


Illness ranges from no symptoms to severe disease. Leptospirosis can be fatal if not treated.

Liver Flukes

Liver Flukes

Varying sizes of purple-gray, flat, oval parasites (flukes) may be seen in the liver.

Lymphoproliferative Disease Virus

Lymphoproliferative Disease Virus (LPDV)

This disease of wild turkey is so newly discovered that much remains unknown.



Infected mammals show varying degrees of hair loss, usually on the legs and tail.

Nasal Bots

Nasal Bots (Parasites)

Adult female botflies eject developing larvae into the nostrils of deer.

Big Brown Bat


Rabies is a viral disease of mammals. Rabies testing requires brain tissue.

Raccoon Roundworm

Raccoon Roundworm

The roundworm is called Baylisascaris procyonis. It is found primarily in raccoons.



Roundworms are some of the most common worms found in wildlife worldwide.


Sarcocystis (Rice Breast)

Affected birds have cream-colored cysts resembling rice grains in the breast, heart, and leg muscles.



Yellow or reddish, clear fluid under skin or within muscle.

Feral Hog


A roundworm called Trichinella found in the muscles of infected animals.

Trichomoniasis in a pigeon

Trichomoniasis (Canker, Frounce)

Pigeons and doves are commonly infected, but they may not show clinical signs.

Tularemia in a rabbit liver

Tularemia (Rabbit Fever)

Tularemia is caused by bacterium called Francisella tularensis.


West Nile Virus (WNV)

WNV primarily infects and multiplies in birds, which serve as reservoirs (a persisting group of carriers) for the virus.

White Nose Syndrome

White-Nose Syndrome (WNS)

Infected bats may exhibit white fungal growth on the muzzle and/or wings, and they often display abnormal behaviors in their hibernation sites (hibernacula) during winter.

Rabbit Hemorrhagic disease

Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (RHDV2)

A single dead rabbit is not cause for alarm unless there is a blood stained nose. For your safety, do not handle dead rabbits and wait for further instruction from the Missouri Department of Conservation.