Diseases and Abnormalities
Hemorrhagic Disease & the White-tailed Deer
According to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study
(SCWDS), hemorrhagic disease (HD) is "the most important infectious
disease of white-tailed deer." The significance of this statement
is difficult to grasp, especially when diseases like anthrax and
chronic wasting disease are considered. The geographical
distribution of HD included most of North America, ranging from the
southeastern regions of Florida to Washington.
Nasal Bots in Deer: Harmless but Irritating
Nasal bots are the larvae or "maggot stage" of a specialized
fly. In the scientific world this fly belongs in the genus
Cephenemyia. Biologists find them in a high percentage of
deer, particularly when a thorough examination of the head is
conducted. These bots are specific to cervids (members of the deer
family, such as elk and mule deer) in North America.
Cutaneous Fibromas In Deer: A Closer Look(Warts & All)
Cutaneous fibromas, more commonly called deer warts by hunters,
are occasionally observed on harvested deer. The fibromas are
pealing, especially when they appear in large numbers. "Grotesque"
is a common description of these harmless skin blemishes. The
fibromas are found in deer herds from a majority of states in the
nation. As a result, they are considered to exist in the entirety
of the white-tailed deer range.
Chronic Wasting Disease
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a progressively degenerative
fatal disease that attacks the central nervous system of members of
the deer family. To date, it has been diagnosed in elk, mule
deer, black-tailed deer, white-tailed deer, and moose. CWD is
one of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform
encephalopathies (TSEs). These diseases are characterized as
transmissible because they can be transmitted from one infected
animal to another. They are further classified as spongiform
due to the "spongy-like" areas which form in the brain of the
infected animal, hence the encephalopathy portion of the name.