Avoiding diseases When Dressing Game


In a TEOTWAWKI situation, we may find ourselves having to dress wild game anything from rats to deer.  Because we cannot afford to get sick under these conditions we need to be more careful about protecting ourselves from diseases while dressing the game.

There are numerous diseases that you can contact while dressing out the game or from the ticks and fleas that are leaving them.  As soon as the game begins to cool the ticks, fleas and other parasites will leave and look for new homes.  Hopeful it will not be you.

While there are many potential diseases that you can contact from wild game we will mainly concentrate on four.  Rabies, plague, rocky mountain spotted fever and lyme disease

Rabies, the virus is not present in the meat itself, but in the surrounding nerve tissue, as well as in the brain, spinal cord and the animal’s saliva.  Rabies is only transmitted when the virus is introduced into an open wound or to mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth).  For more information on rabies see Rabies – After TEOTWAWKI Rabies Will be a Major Threat

If for any reason you suspect the possibility of rabies or other diseases, avoid touching the animal’s mouth, brain or spinal cord and use the following safety.

  • Wear goggles and long rubber or plastic protective gloves while field dressing, skinning, butchering and processing the meat.
  • After butchering, wash hands with soap and water, and wash any contaminated clothing and the work area. (this should apply if possible whenever you field dress or butcher an animal)
  • Disinfect gloves and butchering utensils in a solution of one part household bleach to 20 parts water for twenty minutes.
  • Cook game meat thoroughly. Heat destroys the rabies virus and other disease organisms that might be present.
  • Freezing will not destroy the rabies virus.  Precautions should be taken while thawing meat.
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Fleas and ticks.  Here the problem is to avoid getting them on you.  As soon as the game starts to cool, the fleas and ticks will start to look for a new home.  You need to avoid become their new host.  Because you may be hunting at different times of the year, both fleas and ticks may be more prevalent. Both lyme disease and rocky mountain spotted fever are spread by tick bites. Fleas are a carrier of plague, you can contact it from their bits.  For more information on these diseases, see the following posts.

Rabies in one year
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Lyme disease

For further information on these diseases as well as many less common ones see an excellent article published by the American Veterinarian Medical Association, Disease precautions for hunters   this article covers symptoms and contains some information on treatment in both animals and humans.  This is a situation in which prevention is worth a pound of cure.


2 thoughts on “Avoiding diseases When Dressing Game”

  1. This is a blank email address, no reply to it please, perhaps mention Weils disease in a future article if relevent. Great Website, great new ideas.

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