Fawn update

Darryl McLeod

Dear Mike:
This is in regards to the deer photo that ran in last week’s edition of the Fort Frances Times.
The Ministry of Natural Resources followed up this public report from Nov. 24 and can provide the following information:
Based on the photo, the symptoms are consistent with brisket hydrocyst or seroma (fluid–filled cyst), and may have resulted from a traumatic injury to the chest area of this fawn white-tailed deer.
The lesion likely was induced by heavy bruising with no breakage of the skin.
This assessment is based largely on input from several wildlife disease professionals at the Wildlife Disease Association, Lakehead University, Canadian Co-operative Wildlife Health Centre at the University of Guelph, and Dr. Dan Pierroz at the local Nor-West Animal Clinic.
The cyst is likely not life-threatening, although the size could compromise movement and increase vulnerability to predation.
The recommended course of action is to not intervene and leave the animal alone, if possible. The animal’s location within town, in a more urban environment, should help reduce the risk of wolf predation over the next few months.
This type of injury occurs naturally in the wild, is not a threat to other deer, and eventually may heal itself through re-absorption. It is not a significant mortality factor to the individual animal or the population.
We already have shared these findings with the Jolicoeur family.
Darryl McLeod
Area biologist,
Fort Frances District