another poorly deer


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second deer of the year and its another poorly one. This time I got pictures.

The doe was going really badly and from the pictures you will see why. She nearly fell a few times. She was "cycling" with her front legs in a really peculiar motion. Her body weight was poor. I assume people agree it was the right thing to shoot her?

THEN, I performed the gralloch and was again faced with swollen nodes and empty intestine. I have never seen enlarged nodes before as large as the last 2 deer. Is my analysis correct that the intestine is empty? Would it be fair to assume that this is likely because of the difficulty she had getting around? Again I have not seen empty intestines before as all the deer I have previously shot have been impressively full.

I could find no other obvious signs of a problem so is it possible that the gut nodes were up because of the feet :eek: or might it have been the fact she was on a rape field and may have resorted to eating it due to her mobility problems?

How common is the Aladins slipper thing and why does it happen? Presumably it becomes painful?

Sorry to bombard you guys with all the questions but I am fascinated.



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It is fascinating and, if I had found 2 beasts to have lymph nodes that enlarged from the same patch in a short spell I'd be worried it's a, dare I say it contagious disease. I've never seen them get that big.

It's hard too know if the extended hooves are a sympton or cause of the problems in the internal organs. I have only shot one beast like this - a fallow doe in The New Forest and she was - otherwise in good condition. I have seen photos of worse cases (I think a long-haired fallow from Mortimer Forest in Shropshire was the worse) - from memory I think it's a hormonal imbalance that causes them to grow unchecked.

I'm sure there are some vets on the site who will have a better idea but if not it might be worth emailing the shots and text to the BDS as their vet Peter Green is first class.


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Hi shootingduckdog,
I covered the subject of upturned hooves extensively under this post

Swollen mesenteric nodes plus emaciation as in photos would need to be checked out for TB. Did she appear blind ? Rape seed blindness ?
Was the rumen full and what was the state of her teeth ? If these are worn down she would be unable to chew on regurgitation ( Rumenation ) consequently digestion would be severely compromised leading to starvation.


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perfect deer to remove. Have a read of Morenas thread, it has valuable information in it. It will be interesting to get the toothwear and what condition were the other organs? and all the other lymph nodes.

Monkey Spanker

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It would be interesting to see the jaw of this animal as I would think it could be very old. I have found the Alladins slipper is normally age related although Morena's link gives a whole list of other reasons.
As it is dark I assume you shot it in the evening which would mean it had been lying up all day and would therefore have a fairly empty intestine anyway, especially if it has been having problems feeding with poor teeth? The mesenteric nodes are larger than normal but could be nothing sinister and a result of the condition of the animal maybe? Could we see a piccy of the lower jaw maybe??

Heym SR20

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Absolutely the sort of beast to shoot - and to be honest with no food in here system she was probably only days if not hours away from starving to death.

If we had natural preditors this is just the sort of animal that gets removed from the population.

I would suggest though that this animal should not enter the food chain - Morena would you agree?


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Heartily agree with Heym SR20.
Check the hepatic ( liver ) and supra-mammary ( at the rear of the udder close to the body ) lymph glands as well as could be generalised TB infection.


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Thanks a lot for your input so far everyone. I would like to clarify a few points raised.

The 2 deer I have shot have been 45 miles apart so I think there is no link I've just been bloody unlucky.

The other nodes seemed fine. She was initially with a few other fit deer but they cleared off. She could only walk 30 or 40 yards at a time and then layed up so she was definately struggling to eat.

We are about 100 miles from any TB in livestock, I believe, so I am not too concerned about that and there are only sheep in the local area (do they get TB?)

She was shot at last light.

She did appear to be an old animal, I will try to get a photo of her jaw. However I think she will be gone now as a mate was going to dispose of her properly for me. Her condition was very poor and she had gone downhill, I had seen her a few weeks ago, alone but hadnt noticed her condition as she was laid up and I wasnt stalking.

I am surprised our local predators hadnt got her. Bless the dogmen :evil:

Will check later if I've missed anything



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Very unusual to find TB in sheep. Last time reported in NI but all animals can become infected even tropical fish with their special strain. If passed to fish keepers appears as a skin rash. Birds can carry TB as well. Mine of useless info.


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further pictures

Right gents, I have retreived the head but it has taken me a couple of days to get the photos up. Please dont go on if you're feeling queasy :confused:

The teeth actually seem ok to me so I revise my previous estimate about it being an old deer. Thinking about it, it could actually be a yearling as one was displaced by its mother last spring and took up residence around a muck heap. The lack of mobility would have severely restricted its ability to feed well in the particular area.

As regards the nodes I have taken the picture below, it is not great but in essence it demonstrates that the submaxials are ok. The picture of the retropharangeals was rubbish so I've left it out.

Apologies for the gore fest but some of you seemed interested.



Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
I once worked on a very large dairy farm where the quality of animal husbandry was pretty poor - I resigned after six weeks because of it. The cows where kept in shitty conditions over winter on very soft ground and 30% plus had foot problems - mostly Aladins feet. The ground wasn't hard enough to wear down their toe nails which like on any animal are constantly growing.

The farm manager and farm owner refused to do anything about it and consequently the average lifespan of most cattle was only two or three lactations.

You mentioned this animal had been living around the muck heap - suggest living on soft ground and from memory the summer and autumn was pretty wet so would have compounded it.

Once the toes get too long then their is not much that can be done, save giving its toe nails a cut, which for a wild animal would be pretty difficult.


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SDD/Heym/morena et al

Just a quick note to say 'thanks' for posting this thread. I've never come across anything like this - and the chances of doing so are presumably very limited - so being able to read this thread, and see the photo's, is invaluable.



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i read somewhere that aladdin's slippers can start because of vitamin k defficiency.
not sure how reliable this is?