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Thread: Demodicos or 'red mange' found in roe

  1. #1

    Demodicos or 'red mange' found in roe

    I need to open with thanks to three vets who are on this site: Buchan, srvet and especially Professor James Simpson. Jimmy is interested in any interesting disease/malformation cases in deer in the UK through his project so if you encounter anything of note please sent to him via :

    Thanks also to this site, I find the 'diseases and biology' section fascinating and I think has helped countless deer managers over the years.

    A couple of weeks back I was stalking on a nearby estate in North East Lancashire and I shot a roe buck in a terrible state. It was completely bald on about 30% of it's body (see photos below) and quite thin. The lymph nodes in the gralloch were clear but I did not skin it (to check other LNs) as I had the dog with me and although I sat her at the top of the bank I was keen to get her away from it and was not going to process the carcase. (Buchan felt the LNs in the shoulder and thigh might well be suspect.)

    The only other abnormality seemed to be that his pedicles were uneven (see final pic.) It was a shame as he wasn't old and had a thin, but promising set of antlers.

    I covered the carcase with brash and sent the pics to the three vets. Jimmy advised I got a small pot of formaol saline (free) from a local vet and cut a 10p piece size piece off one of the worst affected areas, put it in the fridge overnight (4 degrees C) and sent it to him First Class the following day.

    Jimmy very kindly came back within a week and said: 'your buck has demodecosis which is a skin mite infection. The mite lives on the hair follicles and causes them to die. This is normally seen in dogs and although I have not done a literature search we may have another quite rare deer disease. The animal is often immuno suppressed to allow the mite to establish so aggressively.'

    Apparently Demodicosis, also called demodectic mange or red mange, is caused by a sensitivity to and overpopulation of Demodex canis as the animal's immune system is unable to keep the mites under control.
    A 'demodex' word search on this site showed up two other cases reported, one in North Yorkshire and one in Somerset.

    The final point of interest was that; although over the years I have shot over 150 roe off this one estate the only animals out of the ordinary have, in effect been in the same smallish wood I shot this affected buck in (wood is circa 50ha but long and thin.) Two years ago I shot a malform (antlered) buck that looked like damage in velvet. Last year the neighbour on the other side of the river shot an anterlered doe (hermaphrodite) and a friend has recently seen a buck that looks perruque (which I am pursuing before the flies come out in vengeance.)
    I wonder if they can some how be related? Could the malform have had the mite in his velvet? (although his skin was fine and this bucks antlers were fine) Could a genetic hormonal imbalance make this buck more susceptible to the mite? Or all just a coincidence, it just seems odd with 4 out of 150+ all in the same area.
    Thanks for reading and I hope you don't encounter the same, the poor beast was wretched.
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    Last edited by NickJ; 15-05-2015 at 11:38.

  2. #2

    Thank you for the heads-up - interesting/useful information and good to be aware of.
    Poor fellah.......


  3. #3
    For clarification (thanks to Buchan) I should point out that 'immune suppressed' means the animal must have had an underlying problem and had its natural immunity suppressed to allow the mite to take hold. He added:
    'Immunosuppression or immunocompromise (a question of degree butinterchangeable) will be either due to a direct chemical suppression thatreduces the immune reaction (such as steroids) or a reduced ability to createantibodies such as starvation, liver damage, or, more subtley, an infection withsomething like fluke that means the animal cannot respond to other infection asit’s fighting the fluke.'
    We have had bad liver fluke infestation on this estate in the wet years of 2012 and 2013 but this buck's liver looked OK.

    I should also point out that add that Jimmy's view is that the case are unrelated.

  4. #4
    Thanks for this. Very helpful. I've found this on two Roe Bucks near St Austell in the past.

  5. #5
    awmc - did a vet diagnose same? Did either have any underlying problems?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by NickJ View Post
    awmc - did a vet diagnose same? Did either have any underlying problems?
    No I'm sorry to say they didn't get as far as the vehicle. We were advised it wasn't mange by a BDS Assessor but didn't want to transport the carcasses so they were disposed of on site
    Just helpful you've shed useful light on it. They were (two animals) culled in the same area on different occasions (same year) and both were considerably underweight but the lymph nodes we checked appeared fine
    I'm afraid the photos haven't survived the updates in phones. Thanks.
    Last edited by awmc; 17-05-2015 at 05:05.

  7. #7
    A good read thanks for posting, and I think you done the Buck a favour.

  8. #8
    thanks for sharing the information ,itl all helps learning the odd and rare things you come across

  9. #9
    So, to make it clear, deer with this condition are NOT fit for human consumption, right?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by tozzybum View Post
    thanks for sharing the information ,itl all helps learning the odd and rare things you come across
    My thoughts entirely...

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