EHD Disease in Deer on Crowley's Ridge, anyone found any dead ones?

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by DODGEMAN, Jan 9, 2008.


    DODGEMAN Well-Known Member

    I was talking to a friend in Harrisburg and he said they have seen some dead deer that they thought had EHD, he said he also seen some that were killed that had the "elf hoof" where the hoof turns up at the point and actually grows backwards, he was told this is a result of EHD. I don't know anything about it, I just know they have seen about 15 dead ones on the ridge this fall, and he said he heard reports of 30 or so towards Wynne? Anyone else seen anything, like the hooves or flaking of the hoofs?

    Here is an article I found, maybe someone else can post more information?

    2002 a Record Year for Hemorrhagic Disease
    As reports trickle in from across the U.S., it becomes clear that chronic wasting disease wasn't the only major whitetail health issue of 2002. Bluetongue and epizootic hemorrhagic disease killed thousands of deer.

    Although chronic wasting disease dominated the discussion of wildlife health issues in 2002, several viral diseases actually killed far more whitetails. And, the damage was widespread, with researches for the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study finding one or the other of the virus strains in whitetail tissue samples from Georgia north to Pennsylvania and as far west as Texas, Kansas and Wisconsin.

    The culprits were well known to deer researchers: epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) and bluetongue (BT). These similar diseases cause high fever and are frequently fatal; infected deer often are found near water sources, where they apparently go in an effort to cool off. BT looks to be confined to the Southeast, while EHD is more widespread.

    Both EHD and BT are known to be spread by Culicoides sonnorensis, a species of biting midge. Due to the life cycle of these insects, most outbreaks of the two diseases occur in late summer into autumn, and that appears to have been the case in 2002. The year's earliest virus isolation, from a whitetail in Virginia, came on Aug. 14; the last isolation came from Kansas on Nov. 5. In both of those cases, and in the vast majority of others, the EHDV-2 strain of virus was implicated.

    Outbreaks historically have been seen every decade or so in many locations, especially in the eastern half of the U.S. What makes last year's massive 2002 outbreak interesting is that prior to 2002, the most recent major occurrence took place only three years earlier.


    Much of the study of diseases affecting whitetails and other wildlife is done by the SCWDS, which is part of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. Dr. David Stallknecht heads up research of hemorrhagic diseases.

    Drought aids in the life cycle of the Culicoides sonnorensis midge, and dry conditions likely were a factor in both of these most recent outbreaks. However, researchers note that much more study needs to be done to understand all of the variables that control the timing and severity of HD outbreaks.

    In the event you find dead deer on your hunting land (particularly during late summer or fall), contact your state wildlife agency. Although the various hemorrhagic diseases seen in whitetails are in some ways similar to Africa's virulent Ebola virus, they do not affect humans.

    DODGEMAN Well-Known Member

    Some more informaiton.

    Clinical Signs

    Clinical signs of EHD and bluetongue are very similar.

    White-tailed deer develop signs of illness about 7 days after exposure. A constant characteristic of the disease is its sudden onset. Deer initially lose their appetite and fear of man, grow progressively weaker, often salivate excessively, develop a rapid pulse and respiration rate, and finally become unconscious. Hemorrhage and lack of oxygen in the blood results in a blue appearance of the oral mucosa, hence the name 'bluetongue'. Eight to 36 hours following the onset of observable signs, deer pass into a shock-like state, become prostrate and die.

  3. fullcredit

    fullcredit Super Moderator Staff Member

    The one I killed was missing a "toe" on one foot, and the one remaining was cracked. Severe swelling all around the joint. No problems with the other feet. GW said it was likely EHD.

    DODGEMAN Well-Known Member

    I was told about this back in October but I was busy taking care of my mother at the time, and didn't get it posted. When I talked to him again today I told him I would post it up and see if other have seen the same things?

    Thanks for the report Larry. I just wonder how many deer we lost to this.

    He also told me he had been to Pine Tree when the water was up and he said he didn't hardly see any tracks down there?

    None of this is good.
  5. fullcredit

    fullcredit Super Moderator Staff Member

    He probably just didn't look in the right place!
  6. F B

    F B Administrator Staff Member

    Ive heard that bt was especially bad this year and not just in Arkansas.

    A guy I work with killed a really nice buck (150's). He said his hooves were cracked and someone at game and fish told him that the deer probably had it but recovered.
  7. Mingoman

    Mingoman Well-Known Member

    Did anyone else see any sign of this on the ridge or in Arkansas? My place is near Piggott & I havn't heard or seen anything like it & don't really want to either.