Fawning health

Fawning health

Iodine deficiencyScabby mouth - parapox
Limited information in deer. May cause calving difficulty and weak calves at birth,Iodine can be tested in blood or milk of hinds and long acting injections can be given during pregnancy (off label)Deer specific parapox virus can cause scabby lesions around the mouth and face of young fawns that affect their ability to suckle. Severe lesions are most likely in immunocompromised animals. Outbreaks are more common when there are a lot of thistles. Natural exposure to the virus provides good and possibly lifetime immunity.
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Ticks on fawnsTagging, sexing mothering
Ticks are in their adult stage at the time of fawning and are often in high numbers in the same areas that fawns like to hide (rushes, scrub).  High levels of ticks can remove enough blood from fawns to weaken or kill them. It is difficult to check fawns without disturbing the hinds. Preventing the build up of ticks prior to calving is the best option. Pyrethrum containing ear tags in hinds can help reduce ticks on fawns.Fawns can be caught and tagged at birth (depending on farm set-up) or later when they are at least a month old. Hinds and fawns can be very carefully mustered, fawns tagged and separated from the mothers for a period of time. On release back with the dams, the mothers can be identified by fawn suckling. Note that some cross suckling does occur so this method is not 100%. 
Learn more about ticksLearn more about deer management
Selenium deficiencyRyegrass staggers
Limited information in deer.Many NZ soils are low in selenium. May cause weak fawns at birth or sudden death due to heart failure in older fawns. Selenium can be provided through fertiliser or supplementsDeer can be affected by ryegrass staggers in the late summer. They may be susceptible to misadventure due to their natural flighty nature. Avoid grazing young deer in high risk paddocks for prolonged periods. Develop a pasture renewal plan to avoid ryegrass staggers in all stock.
Learn more about seleniumLearn more about ryegrass staggers
CryptosporidiosisLeptospirosis vaccine
Rarely occurs in deer and causes diarrhoea, dehydration and death in the first few weeks of life.Only a problem with high stocking density, intensive situations or calving in lowland paddocks that have been used for rearing cattlebeast/dairy calvesYersiniavax for Yersiniosis, Leptospirosis vaccine, Clostridial vaccine (off-label). Decision to vaccinate should be on an individual farm risk and cost-benefit analysis.All of these vaccines require a sensitiser and a booster shot 4-6 weeks apart with both given after 12 weeks of age and before the risk period. The risk period for leptospirosis and yersiniosis is late autumn and winter.
 

Learn more about yersiniosis. About Leptospirosis , or about clostridial diseases

Copper deficiency - fawn lamenessFoot abscesses
Copper deficiency can cause swollen joints, lameness and broken limbs in young fawns.Monitoring fawns for this will provide information on the cost-benefit of supplementing the hinds with copper during winter. By the time these signs are seen in fawns it is too late to do anything about it.Injuries to the feet and lower limbs of young deer can be infected with virulent bacteria, Fusobacterium necrophorum  and  Actinomyces pyogenes. These can invade the blood stream and spread to the lungs and liver causing death. Prevention involves preventing injuries, keeping yarding surface clean and smooth, careful handling to avoid skidding on concrete, elimination of rough stubble and sharp objects in pasture, cleaning of transport crates and possibly footbathing in zinc sulphate or zinc hetachloride solutions (not formalin). Infected animals require immediate antibiotic treatment.
Learn more about copperLearn more about abscesses
Test for cobalt if risk areaFecal egg and larval counting
Cobalt deficiency may cause reduced growth, illthrift poor coat and watery eyes (extrapolated from other species). There is limited information in deer. Cobalt can be tested in liver and blood samples and the information used to determine an appropriate supplementation programme for the farm. Volcanic soils are often low in cobalt. Supplementation can be applied in the fertiliser or directly to the animals as vitamin B12Fecal larval counts can be useful for determining the level of lungworm infection in undrenched deer. Fecal egg counts do not correlate well with gut worm burdens in in adult deer. FECs are useful for determining the general level of parasitism in young deer during their first autumn and can be used to help develop a parasite control programme. FECs are not able to accurately determine drench resistance. At least 10 (preferably 15) samples should be tested due to variation between animals and frequent zero counts. Counts >100 epg are likely to be significant
Learn more about cobaltLearn more about parasite control
Optional vaccines, boostersWinter scours
Yersiniavax for Yersiniosis. Leptospirosis vaccine. Clostridial vaccine (off-label). Decision to vaccinate should be on an individual farm risk and cost-benefit analysis. All of these vaccines require a sensitiser and a booster shot 4-6 weeks apart with both given after 12 weeks of age and before the risk period. The risk period for leptospirosis and yersiniosis is late autumn and winter.Diarrhoea in weaners during their first winter should be investigated and the results used for future planning. Nutritional scour does not require treatment, make dietary changes slowly. Yersiniosis requires antibiotic treatment to prevent outbreaks and death. Leptospirosis requires treatment (difficult) and isolation and possible vaccination of others in the mob. Johne’s disease can not be treated but infected animals should be culled to prevent spread of the disease.All of these diseases are better managed by prevention rather than treatment.
Learn more about yersiniosisLearn more about yersiniosis
Learn more about LeptospirosisLearn more about Leptospirosis