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There have been significant changes to Wisconsin agriculture since ~2010, one of which is the growth of commercial farming of white-tailed deer (WTD; Odocoileus virginianus). These high-density populations may lead to the emergence of previously unrecognized or under-recognized disease trends. I evaluated archived pathology records at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (WVDL) from 2009-2021 for captive WTD postmortem cases and included records from 277 WTD cases. Diagnoses were found in 81.9% of cases, with an average of 1.3 diagnoses per animal. Submissions with a clinical history of respiratory disease were 7.0‚ÄČtimes more likely to have a diagnosis than the average case. Fawns were 1.9‚ÄČtimes more likely to have a diagnosis. The most common diagnoses were bronchopneumonia and enteritis and/or enterocolitis (both 16.2% of total diagnoses). The most common isolates from bronchopneumonia cases were Pasteurella multocida, Bibersteinia trehalosi, and Trueperella pyogenes. The pathogens identified most often in enteritis and/or enterocolitis cases were rotavirus, Clostridium perfringens, and Escherichia coli. The most common non-infectious diagnoses were poor nutritional status or inanition, hepatic lipidosis, and selenium and/or vitamin E deficiency. Focusing on testing for pathogens in fawns and in cervid respiratory disease complex submissions may be recommended for laboratories expanding their WTD testing.


Lorelei L Clarke. Postmortem diagnoses and factors influencing diagnoses in captive white-tailed deer in Wisconsin, 2009-2021. Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation : official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc. 2023 Aug 10:1040638723119042010406387231190420

PMID: 37586034

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