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Old Jun 16th 2011, 09:22 AM   #1
  Jul 2009
  College Station, TX
Here is a pic of a 5 year old from this morning. We drew semen in late January and he went downhill since then. He has lost almost all muscle mass and has a pot belly. He comes and eats with the other bucks in his pen which are all butterball fat. I have been feeding them a high fat treat 1-2 pounds per head a day or every other day and adding vitamin and mineral supplements in case it is a mineral deficiency. He was wormed with Ivomec plus when he was drawn and Valbazen about 2 weeks ago sprayed on feed. When he first started going down I darted him with Banamine and Draxxin and Exceed with no improvement. I also add plenty of probiotics to feed as well. My first thought was a twisted gut when he was drawn but he probably would have died by now. He doesn't seem in any pain. Any ideas????
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5 year old buck extremely thin-mcdreamy616.jpg   5 year old buck extremely thin-img_2458.jpg  
Ross is offline  
Old Jun 16th 2011, 09:31 AM   #2
  Nov 2010
  Casey, IL
im no expert, but looks like worms to me. I see you hit him with imvomec once did you follow up with a second dose in 14 days? to break the cycle? If you dont another batch of worms will continue to grow. On a side note though........ I LOVE that super low and wide buck in the middle.
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Old Jun 16th 2011, 09:55 AM   #3
 wvdeerman's Avatar
  Apr 2009
  Rivesville, WV

Cervid: Deer Farming
Ross, I think it is worms. We had an extra wet spring here in the northeast this year and I had two does that got down after I wormed them through the winter. I did worm them 2 more times about 18 days apart with Ivormec plus and safe-guard pellets. They have really improved the past 3 weeks. One fawned last week and doing fine, the other hasn't fawned yet.

Good Luck. BTW, I too like the low-wide buck in the middle of the second picture. He grows like my white buck Morton did.
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Old Jun 16th 2011, 09:56 AM   #4
  Jul 2009
  College Station, TX
I'm not saying its impossible that it is worms but I doubt it as many times and differents types of wormer that I use. I have not darted him because there really is not enough muscle to get a dart in and don't want to accidentally sink a dart in bone. I have also been adding electrolytes to the feed to increase water intake. Severe drought and 100-108 degree days for the last several weeks isn't good either.

That wide buck is Wide Awake. There is an article about him in the latest Heartbeat magazine.
Ross is offline  
Old Jun 16th 2011, 10:13 AM   #5
  Jul 2009
  College Station, TX
Another thing about this buck is that every year since he was a yearling he always got skinny right after rut. I know all bucks do but he always got skinny skinny and always came back fine by April/May and grew a decent set of antlers until this year. If I didn't know any better I too would say worms, but wormers are not something that get skimped on around here. I rotate Cydectin, Ivermec pour on, Ivermec plus, and Valbazen. And just started using Dectomax in March.
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Old Jun 16th 2011, 10:18 AM   #6
 wvdeerman's Avatar
  Apr 2009
  Rivesville, WV

Cervid: Deer Farming
I read that article yesterday. Congratulations, he is a beauty.

For the thin buck you can try some rice bran. That helps promote weight gain. Also, C&E wildlife products has some products that can help the absorbtion of feed into the animals body. check it out at
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Old Jun 16th 2011, 10:46 AM   #7
  Apr 2009
  Williamsport, PA
It is a tough call on guys like this. If you have the ability to isolate into a holding pen you may want to try putting him on a very basic feed. Not sure what you are feeding now. But I would guess it has a good amount of protein and mineral content to it. Try a 12-14% protein with a relatively high fat content 6-9% and limited minerals and vitamins. Some of these guys (very few) can not handle the high energy feeds we give them. Might be worth a try.
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Old Jun 16th 2011, 11:02 AM   #8
 Jack's Avatar
  Apr 2009
  Vaughn, MT 59487

Cervid: mule deer,whitetail,elk,goats,bighorn & stone sheep & Alaskan dahl sheep
I'm guessing from what you said about going down hill after sedation that he must have inhaled some gut fluid into his lungs. I believe he now has lung damage and infected lungs. I would give large amounts of Pen daily.
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Old Jun 16th 2011, 11:15 AM   #9
  Jul 2009
  College Station, TX
I have all the deer on a 16% protein 4% fat 22% fiber free choice pelleted feed. Been using the same feed for 7 years and really like it. On this particular pen of bucks (21 head) I hand feed a 14% protein 7% fat textured feed and add flax seed, wheat germ oil, and probiotics. Free choice alfalfa and mineral.
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Old Jun 16th 2011, 11:28 AM   #10
  Jul 2009
  College Station, TX you think lung infection even if he isn't panting or have labored breathing or coughing? February and March the deer were being fed free choice pellets with 1000g per ton CTC. My thought now is maybe he swallowed something that he can not pass(plastic?) I know its tough to diagnose something without seeing it with your own eyes.
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Old Jun 16th 2011, 12:21 PM   #11
  May 2010
We have one that is almost identical and I have been through all the solutions that have been suggested. I had a very experienced deer breeder (from texas in fact) say that he was quite certain it was hardware disease (he ate something forgeign that isn't digestable). I have since noticed a patch of shade cloth missing that he might have very well eaten. The deer shows no signs of pain or infection. He is just very underweight like the one you pictured and his antlers are way behind the others.
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Old Jun 16th 2011, 12:46 PM   #12
  Jun 2011
  Decatur, Texas
I would worry about Clostridium A too!! Are yall vaccinating annually for Clostridium A?? Chronic weight loss, usually tarry stool but they can have normal pellets too!!! I like NAxcel for clostridium A infections at 2 cc per 100 lbs im twice a day for 10 days(you need a facillity of course).. I like previcid given approx 20 mg in feed once a day for 10 days as well.. Closrtidium A infections cause ulceration and irritation to the front of the small intestine(duodenum) where90% of absorption of nutrients occurs and the intestinal wall may bleed causing black tarry stoools, similar to parvo in dogs but of course not aas severe. I like fresh browse- hack berry, honey suckle fed daily as well.. This has worked the best for me, this is not an original treatment I invented. It has worked best for me on clients deer, approx 50% make it and improve.. Good luck.. God bless!!!

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Old Jun 16th 2011, 01:05 PM   #13
  Jul 2009

I know exactly where you are coming from on this I have had a couple of Bucks myself do the same. I did everything you have done and then some. We had our vet out and took stool and blood samples from the deer. Nothing came back from any of it since then we moved the buck into a brushy pen where he has natural vegetation and he only gets a 16% protein pellets. About 6 months have gone by and he seems to look better but not a 100 percent. My question is has this buck ever had ehd and if so how long ago? Ehd can eat away there stomach liner over time and also can cause ulcers. On my bucks we determined it was from that but we are not 100 percent. Really just a guessing game especially after what you have tried. The Vet offered but I declined on a major surgery to look inside his stomach sounded like it would be too hard on the deer. Anyways hope he gets better and by the way how are those HighFive yearling bucks doing this year?
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Old Jun 16th 2011, 02:02 PM   #14
  Dec 2010
  Rogers City, MI
Good advise from all. I may have missed it but what are all the symptoms? He is thin but is he eating and if so is he just picking or aggressively eating? How are his stools? Are they pelleted. cow-pie, or diarrhea? I do not know what is prevalent in Texas but I would wonder about Johnnes if the animal has loose stools and eats aggressively. Hardware would be on the ruleout list but the animal would not be eating well and would normally have respiratory problems, pneumonia you should be also having respiratory problems. Another thing to think about is liver failure due to flukes or other causes. They develop ascites (fluid in the abdomen) and look alot like this guy. I would suggest blood work and even abdominocentesis (tap the abdomen with a needle and syringe to see if there is abnormal fluid) Make sure to be as sterile as you can and save the fluid to show your vet. Good Luck
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Old Jun 16th 2011, 06:54 PM   #15
  Jul 2009
  College Station, TX
Dr. Joe thanks for all the advice throughout the last few years. I am trying to get him seperated but the problem is he is in a pen with 20 other of the best bucks on the ranch. If I can get him seperated I will try to get him in the chute so I can do blood and fecal tests.

Dr. Jay as far as aggressive eating, he comes up when I hand feed sweet feed. But it is 100 degrees by noon and stays like that till 7pm, even I have a hard time eating alot. He does not have respiratory problems. Other than being extremely skinny he shows no other signs or symptoms and acts like a normal buck in the pen. If I can get him to the barn I can find out a lot more.

J 5...I don't think he ever had EHD that I could tell, but I know that at least 80% of our deer have been exposed to EHD and Bluetongue. On the HighFive yearlings...I lost all the bucks last summer, sold one doe fawn and have 2 does left. Just have to figure out now what buck to put them with.
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