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Over the past decade, the number of wild deer in the UK has doubled to an estimated 2 million individuals, more than at any time in the last thousand years. Consequently, deer casualties, and the incidence of infectious diseases, are increasing. Common reasons for presentation to a veterinary surgeon include road traffic accidents, abandoned young and animals caught in fencing. This chapter covers: ecology and biology; anatomy and physiology; capture, handling and transportation; clinical assessment; first aid and hospitalization; anaesthesia and analgesia; specific conditions; therapeutics; husbandry; rearing of young deer; rehabilitation and release; and legal considerations.

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22.1 (a) Roe deer yearlings. (b) Fallow deer. (c) Sika deer. (d) Chinese water deer. (e) Muntjac deer. (a, © Secret World Wildlife Rescue; b, © Richard Saunders; c, © Secret World Wildlife Rescue; d–e, © Steve Bexton)
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22.2 UK deer species and some of their ecological characteristics. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and are printed with her permission.
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22.5 (a) All British deer are spotted as juveniles: examples shown here from left to right are fallow, red, red, roe. (b) Muntjac kid. (a, © Secret World Wildlife Rescue; b, © Steve Bexton)
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22.6 Red deer stag with antlers. (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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22.9 Ophthalmic examination is essential in deer casualties. This adult roe deer was exhibiting reduced mentation following a road traffic accident, enabling a complete ophthalmological examination in a conscious animal. (© Emma Keeble)
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22.10 Lateral saphenous vein clipped and prepared for blood sample collection in a roe deer. (© Steve Bexton)
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22.13 Ventrodorsal radiographic view of the pelvis of a muntjac deer, showing pelvic fractures following a road traffic collision; note fetal skull on the right of the figure. (© Steve Bexton)
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22.14 Lateral radiographic view of the thoracolumbar spine of a roe deer showing dislocation at L4/L5 with a fractured spine following a road traffic collision. (© Steve Bexton)
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22.15 Roe deer intubated and positioned for ventrodorsal radiography of the spine and pelvis following a road traffic collision. NB positioning in lateral or dorsal recumbency can contribute to hypoxia and make ruminal tympany more likely and where possible sternal recumbancy is preferred. (© Emma Keeble)
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22.17 Facial trauma in (a) a roe deer and (b) a muntjac deer following road traffic collisions. (a, © Emma Keeble; b, © Steve Bexton)
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22.18 Distal limb injury in an adult roe deer following entrapment of the animal in fencing. Note the linear shape of the wound. The distal area had bone exposed with significant soft tissue damage and this animal was euthanased. (© Emma Keeble)
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22.19 Dorsopalmar radiograph of forelimbs of a muntjac buck with severe carpal and metacarpophalangeal valgus secondary to septic arthropathy. Note the extensive proliferative carpal arthropathy, with destruction of the joint structure and production of new bone. sp. was cultured from these joints. This animal was euthanased. (Courtesy of P Green)
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22.20 The aetiology of capture myopathy in deer and options for the management and treatment of this condition. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and are printed with her permission.
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22.22 Fallow deer in a suitably fenced captive environment. (© Emma Keeble)
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22.24 Roe deer release. Adult deer releases should be made at dawn or dusk, close to where the deer was found and close to suitable cover. (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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22.25 (a) Construction of roe deer soft-release pen. (b) Roe deer in soft-release pen. (© Secret World Wildlife Rescue)
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