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Thread: swollen intestine

  1. #1

    swollen intestine

    Shot a young (this years) Roe doe today. It was behaving normally but I knew it to be orphaned. Body weight and external appearance all fine. On commencing the gralloch I noticed that half of the intestines were very small. 2 sections of intestine about 10 inches long were full of air and about 3 inch in diameter. The normal intestine had dark liquid in it and some grain and the normal green mush. The stomach was about empty. The mesenteric chain seemed enlarged and one of the lymph nodes was about the size of a golf ball. The heart, lungs, kidneys and spleen were all very healthy looking, I could tell this as I had hit the animal a little far back so they had very little bullet damage. The rectum had normal looking pellets in it.
    I feel sure that it is not a serious illness as no other lymph nodes were enlarged and the animal was in very good nick. Could it be grain from pheasant feeders that was causing the problem? Would the very hard weather we have had for the last few weeks cause a problem? Is the carcase safe to eat?
    Sorry there are no photos but had no camera along and was a long way from it at the time.

  2. #2
    Hard to say without pics.

    I must admit , I'm no vet so I work on the premis if in doubt don't[eat or sell]

    The grain that you found, was it wheat or barley?
    I know that you can have problems with cattle if they eat unbruised barley.
    It may have been some sort of blockage, was there a strong smell?

    I would be wary if I found a gland the size of a golf ball.

    Sorry not much of a help

  3. #3


    The grain was wheat from pheasant feeders. I know too much wheat kills sheep as it ferments. The gut had liquid, like fermented wheat from the bottom of old pheasant feeders, in it. There was no real unusual smell, but as the liver had been hit it smelled pretty bad anyway
    Someone has suggested stress could cause swollen nodes. I didnt burst the gassy gut for obvious reasons.
    Any help is better than no help.

  4. #4
    I suppose it could have been the fermenting/germanating wheat?

    I suppose we really need a vets view.

  5. #5
    I would go on the side ofcaution if the lymph nodes are swollen and dispose of the carcase. Its better to be safe than sorry IMHO.

  6. #6
    I would get rid of the carcass, without photos it is hard to tell. Was the node soft/hard/gritty/puss filled? My thoughts are that it is a reaction to what it has been feeding on, but to be absolutely sure, removing the part of the stomach with the dark fluid and the lymph node and taking to a vet is playing very safe so you know how to dispose of the carcass.

    I am sure Morena will be along soon

  7. #7


    The node was firm and spongy if that makes sense. Not at all gritty or hard.

  8. #8
    Regular Poster buck52's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    England, a large country south of the Scottish Border
    Get it checked by a Vet, then dispose of it regardless of the outcome, then go and cull another

  9. #9
    Hi shootingduckdog,
    From your description "some of the intestines very small and 2 sections full of gas' I would be pretty certain you are describing a case of Johne's disease. This is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacteria avium paratuberculosis. What it does is get into the wall of the intestine and they thicken it so that it closes down the bore hence some buildup of gas. It also leads to swollen lymph nodes If you find it it cattle called pipestem intestines although they scour badly. Deer have variable signs and normal droppings are common. In an animal this young the chances are it picked up the infection while still in the uterus of its dam.
    I would definitely bin the carcass as you may of heard of a condition called Crohn's disease in humans and recent research is coming round to some connection between the bacteria and the disease which is chronic incurable and very nasty

  10. #10

    thanks all

    Many thanks Morena and everyone else. Carcase will be incinerated.
    Dont fancy finding any more of those!!

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