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Thread: Sick Roe Doe

  1. #1

    Sick Roe Doe

    A friend of mine out foxing a few nights ago came across a Roe which was clearly sick and I'm curious about what might have been the problem.

    He'd observed the animal through his night sight for quite a while whilst parked up and realised that it was still and unmoving for a long time. It stood out because other Roe in view were behaving normally. He drove up to it and it didn't move so he got out and approached the animal which took no notice of him. It was a mature doe and clearly pregnant. He described the animal as standing, but there was a slight trembling apparent in it's forelegs, and it's head was low but nodding all the time. He walked up to it and gently tried to get it to move by pushing it but it wouldn't budge and didn't react to him. Although he enjoys seeing deer and isn't a stalker he realised of course that the animal was very sick and distressed so put it down with a head shot. He looked it over without opening it and could find nothing apparent in terms of physical damage or gunshot wounds. I should add that he's a very competent and observant countryman and perfectly competent to reach the conclusion he did and acted in the animals best interests as I'm sure any competent stalker would have done. This is an area plagued by dog runners which was also in the back of his mind.

    I haven't seen the deer (which he removed from the site because it was near a footpath) but all I could think of was a possible car collision despite the lack of obvious injury, or Nasal Bot Fly larvae infestation. I've never knowingly seen a deer with this but my reading suggests an infested deer might show similar signs although it's supposed to be uncommon in England. Out of curiosity has anyone seen this behaviour before or feel they could suggest a problem?

  2. #2
    You'll never really know without opening her up and I am guessing that boat has sailed,but if not get to it and then put up your findings and enlighten us all.


  3. #3
    Was it in an oilseed rape field? Sounds like it could be oilseed rape poisoning which is accompanied by blindness.

  4. #4
    All that can be said for certain is that he done the right thing in putting it down. Apart from that we're all guessing really. Rape blindness maybe?

  5. #5
    Guess work as said before, but that sounds very similar to a Dartmoor pony I had to have put down which got tetanus..... It presented as you describe, standing, head out and stiff, doing what I described as a shaking Stevens impression.... Unable to move. Don't know if deer are susceptible to tetanus but the pony was confirmed as such.

    Anyway, the right outcome, but it will remain a myster I suspect.
    Opinions are like arseholes....... we all have them, and most of them stink

  6. #6
    I'm going to see if I can look at it today if it's still available. There is rape around although not currently on this large farm, but certainly not too far away. The area is rich in food and woodland cover for deer and they thrive so I can't see it gorging on rape although, again, I've not seen rape blindness myself. Yes he did the right thing. The tetanus thing is interesting. Thanks for the replies, if I can still get at it I'll report back.

  7. #7
    Seen a roe hit by a car in front of me on my way to work last year, observed similar conditions to those you describe. It stood in the road motionless and allowed me to walk up to it and move it away from the motorway slip where it again stood motionless. Had I not seen the car hit it I would have been none the wiser as to the cause, there were no external signs.

  8. #8
    Hope she wasnt in premature labour..... And he nobbled it! (Joke).

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by willyroe View Post
    Hope she wasnt in premature labour..... And he nobbled it! (Joke).
    That was my first thought.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by willyroe View Post
    Hope she wasnt in premature labour..... And he nobbled it! (Joke).
    Had crossed my mind too.

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