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Old Sep 27th 2020, 01:21 PM   #1
  Aug 2020
doe suddenly unsteady on her feet

Does anyone have any idea what would cause a healthy adult doe to suddenly lose her apatite, and become unsteady on her feet?

I don't have the capability to dart or give shots. She was not eating at all, but now she is eating some again, so I could probably medicate her food.

Any ideas on cause or solution?
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Old Dec 20th 2020, 08:07 AM   #2
  Aug 2020
* Solved *

Well the answer turned out to be pretty interesting, so I thought I would post the details.

See if you can figure out the solution.

9/21 - Adult doe with 1 nursing fawn and 2 yearlings is apparently healthy and displaying her normally confident behavior around the group feeding area.

9/22 - AM - Doe slow to come down to the feeding area. PM - Doe does not come down. She remains on hill overlooking feeding area.

9/23 - Fawn is around, but doe nowhere to be seen. Her Fawn eventually leaves with family group.

9/24 - Doe spotted in thicket watching her fawn. Unsteady on her feet, looks like she is in a lot of pain, I place food and several of her favorite treats near her on the ground. She eats one treat, and leaves everything else. When she walks away, she is very slow and wobbly, but as she walks farther she gets a little steadier.

9/25 - Fawn is around, but doe nowhere to be seen.

9/26 - Fawn is around, but doe nowhere to be seen. Her Fawn eventually leaves with older sibling.

9/27 - Fawn is around all day, but doe nowhere to be seen. At this point I assume the doe is dead, since the last time she was seen, she had difficulty standing and could barely walk. Late in the afternoon I see the fawn jump up and sprint for the woods, and there she is. She is walking very slowly, but better than on the 24th.

Over the next week I see her improve a little each day, but she is avoiding the other deer. Since she is avoiding the other deer, at feeding time I put some food in a bucket and take it over to her. She is very hungry, and starts to inhale the food before I can set the bucket down. After I set it down, she is not interested in it. So I pick it back up. She then finishes the food with me holding the bucket. So for the next week or so this is our routine: At feeding time I scatter the food, the other deer come in and get it, but she waits at the periphery for me to bring the bucket of food to her. I hold the bucket for her and she eats. If other deer approach while she is eating she leaves.

After about a week or so she seemed to be on the mend and was walking pretty normally but still avoiding other deer sometimes. As I was watching, she then stopped to scratch herself and it hit me what had caused the problem for her. She was attempting to use her rear leg to scratch, and could not do it. She would pick her leg up, try to move in to position to scratch then put it down repeatedly.

Have you figured out what her problem was?

As this was going on, I had a flashback to me attempting to put my socks on after the disc slipped in my lower back.

Typically once or twice a year a disc slips in my lower back, and I am completely sidelined. I have literally had to crawl to the bathroom on my hands and knees, could not even roll over in bed, and it is virtually impossible to put my socks on. The most severe pain is 24-48 hours after what ever trauma causes it to slip. Then it gradually improves and is 90% better in a week or two. During the recovery, if I stand straight up, things are not so bad, if I bend over, look out. Sitting down is not so bad. It is getting up after sitting that is super difficult and painful. Walking is painful. But as I walk more it tends to loosen up and hurts less.

I then remembered that on the day before the doe started acting strangely, I had seen one of the large aggressive does chase her down and kick her in the back. This must have caused a trauma that brought on swelling that was pinching a nerve. The days she left her fawn unattended she was probably immobile. This is why she wanted her food held up in front of her, It hurt her to bend down. She is used to people, but it was a pretty strange dynamic when for a week of two she was more comfortable around me than other deer. This was because she knew I was not going to kick her in the spine.

In any case although she looked almost dead, she is now back to normal with the exception that she is still wary of the deer that kicked her.
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doe, feet, suddenly, unsteady

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