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Thread: deer health issue

  1. #1

    deer health issue

    I have a cracking bit of ground and have taken 14 roe off it in the last 10 months. They are generally extremely fit animals and a good weight. I took one this morning and I have seen nothing like it before. It was clearly starting to grow its summer coat but about 50% of its fur was missing altogether. The skin seemed fine, no sign of insects or other irritation. The animal was holding one of the best pieces of ground, was a good weight and behave entirely normally.
    I have attached pictures below, you will see -
    - a magnificent set of antlers, suggesting no real underlying health issues
    - swollen mesenteric nodes
    - healthy lungs
    - swollen front ankle
    - normal sub maxillary node (just above black spot)
    - the extent of the missing coat
    Oh, he had quite small plums, didnt photo them

    The liver nodes and lung nodes were fine but too tricky to photo on my own. I can find nothing to suggest he shouldnt be ok as food. What do you guys reckon?Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Found this thread on deer hair loss:

    Morena talks about hair loss due to lice as being a possibility. You might want to PM him now that he's back with us. I am sure he would be interested.

    Also found this research from the US, also citing lice as a reason for Deer Hair Loss Syndrome: It does say that the meat can be eaten if well cooked, but not sure I'd want to skin and butcher it!

    Finally, this research from New Zealand: where tick and lice infestations are again cited as a possible reason behind severe hair loss.

    Why do I find myself scratching as I write this?

    Last edited by willie_gunn; 16-04-2010 at 17:02.

  3. #3
    You find yourself scratching you want to be sat where I am. I actually wonder if the problem is recovering as there were no obvious signs of parasites and the skin had a "stubbly" feel suggesting hair was returning. Thanks for your efforts

  4. #4
    SDD, good post! I do not know what I would do, but the swollen mesenteric nodes you wrote about would give me pause for thought, even if the other nodes were fine.

    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  5. #5
    Could the hair loss be moulting/change coats from winter to summer?

    Did you check the lympth node at the top of the leg?

    Morena will know and I would be very interested in the outcome.



  6. #6

    In your post you said the buck was behaving normally on the hoof and was carrying good weight, a good start

    If you cut the nodes and no sign of TB and you cut the liver and no sign of fluke and no other problems with the carcass, I would say you are good to go for your own consumption if thats what you intended.

    If I had shot him I would process him


  7. #7
    I shot one in exactly the same condition with regards to coat on Monday. Scruffiest, manky looking animal I've ever seen. They always look bad when in full moult but this one was severe like yours. However, he was fine in every other respect so there is no reason it shouldn't enter the food chain.
    I suspect the swollen mesenteric glands may be linked to the swollen leg if it is infected. Lymph glands can swell for numerous reasons ranging from something as minor as a throat infection to something more sinister like cancer. If they show no signs of a notifiable disease, and the animal was otherwise healthy, there should be no reason why it shouldn't enter the food chain IMHO.

  8. #8
    strangeley enough i shot a muntjac in moult last week everything else normal but dold patches,just put it down to perhaps the cold winter giving them a heavier coat than normal ant therefore a bigger moult

  9. #9
    Cheers guys. The thing that surprised me was that I have seen scruffy animals before but always the summer coat has been present beneath the winter one, almost "pushing" it out. This boy had simply lost his hair!!
    As an aside I would have expected the antler development to be askew due to the leg injury and yet it is one of the most symmetrical heads I have ever shot. No Golden Rules I guess.
    RF I havent checked the node at the top of the leg, its an option though.

  10. #10
    i shot a buck in this condition last week, the scabby appearance was due to fighting, litteraly getting the **** kicked out of him, hooves will tear away hair, and as a guess i would suggest his swollen leg could be due to him having a go back. i have a general ruel with all my carcases, if i find more than three sets of nodes/ glands in a raised / suspicious state then i condem the carcass and have it incinerated, simple as that. i do not want to be responsible for letting poor qualtiy, sick and possibly diseased meat into the food chain, so i choose to do this as a precaution.


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