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Thread: Doe died in labour ?

  1. #1

    Doe died in labour ?

    On Monday evening while waiting for fox to come onto newly cut grass I came across a doe dead in the wood.
    on closer examination she had a kid/fawn unborn with just one hoof sticking out I suspect its head and other leg were turned back and she could not push it out.

    I have never come across one like this before, although it seems to happen quite often in sheep and cattle.
    Come to think of it, it is not common to find deer having died of natural causes in any woods around here.
    has anyone else come across this?

  2. #2
    I have come across similar to this before but it has been a result of dogs chasing the Doe to exhaustion.
    On one occasion it was a little Scotty dog chasing the Deer over an open expanse of Salisbury Plain and seen from a distance by a horse rider.
    She saw the deer running and then go down and by the time she got there the Doe was in the throes of giving birth, pushed twins so far then stopped and expired.
    Of course the Scotty then ran off with no owner to be seen.

  3. #3
    Seen it a bit if the body score index is too high. Fat hinds & does (body score above 3.5) are about three times more likely to suffer dystocia than lean ones. Hybridising deer using a large sire over a smaller dam can lead to increased percentages e.g. Persian bucks over Anatolian does. Generally speaking I think its about 1 in 200 births in wild populations.

    "Men Who Stare at Deer."

  4. #4
    Interesting observations from you both.
    I doubt if it was dogs chasing as it is near a farm where the farmer is good at stopping dogs on his land around livestock though it was my first thought.
    The deer are in top condition as we have had no winter to speak of so they all are fat.

  5. #5
    Over condition, ie lots of fat = large offspring which gives difficulties in getting them out. Also if a leg was showing, this could be a backwards or breach presentation, which without intervention is not going to have a happy ending. Most does will hide away when having young, so if they do die, it's unlikely they will be easily found.

  6. #6
    Yes big kids would be a problem, but I think these should be fairly rare in the wild. that being said quite often it is actually the fat in the pelvic vault/vulva area resulting in slow dilation and brittle tissue/tears that cause the problem. also it could have been stillborn (normally a kid will dive/stretch out to aleviate the tention on his body from the doe´s contraction/pushing) or just a malpresentation. as mentioned breech positions are a problem sometimes, these take longer and often the kid is dead (have seen a few of these in farmed fallow). another option would be disturbance when in labour resulting in the doe not getting on with kidding resulting in the kid to die and hence getting stuck. uterine torsions are also sometimes seen (I have seen them in roe and fallow) but in that case there wouldn´t be a leg poking out usually. also do not rule out twins coming at the same time and thus blocking the exit.

    usually if it died because of a breach the leg is upside down, if it is a leg back the front leg tends to be in line with the doe´s legs. (uhm to visualize it the kid would be laying in the uterus in the same plane as the dam in respect to the ground with the legs stretched if that makes sense)

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