Antibiotic injections may be possible, but first WDFW must identify the specific bacteria causing the condition and find an antibiotic – and dosage – effective in treating it. Scientists enlisted to help in this effort have not yet been able to make these determinations.
Even if an antibiotic is found, applying it to infected animals across a broad landscape may present an even bigger challenge. Untreated animals could continue to serve as a source of infection for the others. Also, it is likely that treated animals would eventually become re-infected if the causative bacteria persist in the soil.
The idea of vaccinating healthy animals to prevent them from contracting the disease presents many of the same challenges. Again, we need to identify the bacterium responsible for the condition to determine the appropriate vaccine. If none is available, it could take years to develop.
4th of September, 2013