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Monday, January 3, 2011

Death of a Doe

While walking on the ranch Saturday morning I spotted a very skinny deer. She appeared malnourished and sick. She jumped a fence and slumped to the ground. A few minutes later she was dead.  Strange way to start the new year. 
I spoke with a State of Oregon wildlife veterinarian today and showed her some of these pictures.  She believes the deer died of adenovirus hemorrhagic disease. It’s a disease specific to deer.  Pets, livestock, and humans do not get it.  It kills most of the animals that are exposed.
The glassy eye of the doe moments after she died.

According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, infected deer can have clinical signs common to other diseases such as bluetongue or pneumonia. Chronic symptoms include ulcers and abscesses in the mouth and throat. Acute symptoms include rapid or open mouth breathing, foaming or drooling at the mouth, diarrhea (possibly bloody), weakness, and copious amounts of fluid in the body cavity. Death can occur within 3 — 5 days from the time the deer was exposed to the virus.

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