White-tailed deer


Title:  An Evaluation of Intracranial Abscesses Among White-tailed Deer
Author(s): Christopher D. Baumann and William R. Davidson, University of Georgia
Year: 1998
Abstract: In the southeastern United States, an intracranial abscessation/suppurative meningoencephalitis (brain abscess) syndrome was described as a disease principally of adult male white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). The geographic distribution, etiology, demographics, seasonality, and prevalence of this disease were evaluated by surveying disease diagnostic laboratories and by examining both natural mortality and hunter-harvested deer skulls. Intracranial abscesses were diagnosed as the cause of death or illness in 97 of nearly 4,500 (2.2%) white-tailed deer from 12 states and 4 Canadian'provinces. The bacterium Actinomvces Dyogenes was isolated from 61 % of cases; 20 other genera of bacteria also were isolated. The disease was strongly gender-biased (P<0.01) with 87% of cases occurring in males, and the overall prevalence among males was 4.9%. Cases were seasonal, primarily occumng from September through April. A total of 418 natural mortality buck skulls were examined from southeastern states, and 9% of the skulls from Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina had characteristic lesions. Skulls from hunterharvested bucks in the southeast had a lesion prevalence of 1.4%. The similar prevalence among natural mortality bucks (9%) and bucks examined at southeastern diagnostic laboratories (8.4%) suggests that this disease accounts for slightly less than 10% of the natural buck mortality in this region. The predilection among adult males suggests this disease should be considered when practicing quality deer management

Return to abstracts

Upcoming Meetings

41st Annual Meeting of the Southeast Deer Study Group
February 19 – February 21, 2018
Register Here
Millenium Maxwell House Hotel
Nashville, TN
Want More Information?

Host: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency