“CWD is a neurological (brain and nervous system) disease found in deer, elk, moose and other members of the deer family. It is similar to mad cow disease in cattle and scrapie in sheep. The disease belongs to a family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases. It is 100 percent fatal.”

-Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Wendy Smith, DVM, provides answers to frequently asked questions relating to the most recent disease plaguing our wildlife, Chronic Wasting Disease  (commonly referred to as “CWD“).

Q: Have there been any cases of CWD in our area?

A: As of today, it has not been seen in Baxter county to our knowledge. We are actively looking for the disease in this part of the county. 

Q: How can we test our deer for CWD?

A: Bring your deer head in to ACVH on Highway 62 East, between Mountain Home and Gassville. We test lymph tissue. We will not damage deer heads that owners would like to mount. To get a good sample, we need the head and 3 vertebrae past the head. The specimen can be refrigerated or frozen. We thaw to get the sample. We can then refreeze at the owner’s request. (It costs $30 to have your deer tested.)

Q:  How soon do we get results?

A: The samples are sent to outside laboratories.  It takes 4-6 weeks to get results.

Q: Should I be concerned about the disease affecting my family or my other pets?

A: Venison tested positive for CWD is not known to be harmful to eat, and other pets are unaffected by the disease.

 Q: Why should I bring a sample in?

A: The more samples we collect, the more we can learn about the disease and help prevent its spread.




Dr. Wendy Smith graduated from Louisiana State University, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. For a full biography, visit



One thought on “Chronic Wasting Disease – The Scoop

  1. ***UPDATE*** So far, all samples that have been submitted for testing through All Creatures Veterinary Hospital have tested negative for CWD. Let’s keep up the good work and continue monitoring for this deadly disease.


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