Black wolf

A wolf with the foaming-mouth disease will snarl at any movement.

"The Foaming-Mouth Disease" is what the Wolves of the Beyond call rabies. This disease is highly contagious and can spread very quickly, supposedly faster than a wildfire. Faolan was once mistakenly thought to have it in Lone Wolf, and it was revealed that Old Cags, an old wolf who lived in the Pit, actually was afflicted with the illness.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms are very easy to recognize. Animals infected with the foaming-mouth disease usually leave a splayed paw print, this is the main reason Faolan was mistaken for a diseased wolf in Lone Wolf. The infected animal will also have saliva in the form of foam around their mouth, and their eyes are sunken into their head. Gum disease and gingivitis are prominent, showing yellow teeth. Their eyes display yellow as opposed to the vibrant green, along with blood-shot scleras. The infected animal will die very quickly because of this disease, and will want to spread it before dying. According to Toby, a bear will get extremely hot when infected with the disease.


Wolves with the foaming-mouth disease will be hunted down and destroyed.


There are no known cures at the time. This is a well-endowed fear, as this disease spreads very easily and could destroy the population in a very short time. However, there is a solution. As the Sark of the Slough says, it is to lure the infected animal into a wall of fire, where it will die burning and cannot reach contact with others.


Animals that have the foaming-mouth disease will have a slow, painful death, the saliva in their mouth would start to smell, their gums will become a sickening hue of green, and they'll snarl and snap at anything they see as prey or a threat. According to Toby, the bear cub thrown into The Pit, animals, namely bears, diseased with the foaming-mouth disease would get hot and their limbs would grow heavy.


Lone Wolf

In Lone Wolf, Faolan was thought to be infected with the foaming-mouth disease because of his splayed paw. The MacAngus clan, which discovers the paw print of the splayed paw, tell all the other clans. Later, the chieftains of the clans go to the Sark and tell her about the paw print and ask how to kill the animal. She says they must build a wall of fire, and lure the animal into it though the Sark is suspicious of the claim.

Later, Faolan is being chased down by a byrrgis and is lured into the fire. But amazingly, because Thunderheart taught him to leap by standing on his hind legs, he jumps for the sun and survives, what wolves say disturbed the order. The Sark is angry at herself for not asking for more evidence that Faolan was sick and is angry at the other wolves, calling them "idiots."

Shadow Wolf

In Shadow Wolf when Faolan goes to the packs of the MacDuncan clan to carve a bone of forgiveness after disrupting the byrrgis he meets the Whistler and they hunt together after the Whistler tells Faolan he only eats hares. During their hunt/walk the Whistler tells Faolan that he was one of the wolves who had chased him in the byrrgis to kill him thinking he had the foaming-mouth disease.

Watch Wolf

Old Cags is revealed to be a carrier of the illness. No one knows how he is able
Old Cags

Old Cags has the foaming-mouth disease.

to survive the disease. The MacHeaths worship him like a god, a god who must live separate in his "stony heaven", and take rebellious pups to him. Old Cags is proficient at "moonblinking," though he must know the pup's name in order to inflict this on them. Not knowing the victim's name confuses him, but once he learns the poor soul's name, he uses it to his advantage, almost like a powerful magic, moonblinking the pup, turning them into a mindless slave. Some pups thrown into the pit would attempt to fight Old Cags, though must tend to simply give up, attempting to end their own life. They would rush to him, letting the mad wolf bite them, thus giving the poor pup the foaming-mouth disease. Old Cags is also "jealous" of the death of the pups since their lives ended and he had to continue to suffer.

Known Victims