Potential diseases and parasites of white-tailed deer in Missouri
White-tailed deer are susceptible to a variety of diseases, parasites and injuries. Although these conditions do not account for a large percentage of annual statewide deer mortality (typically less than 5 percent), in some situations disease or parasite outbreaks can impact a deer herd locally or regionally. Infectious diseases of deer can be caused by pathogens that include some viruses, bacteria, parasites and abnormal proteins known as prions. In rare instances, these pathogens are the cause of disease epidemics that result in significant mortality in a local population. These outbreaks are most common in herds with high deer density, which can increase the spread of the disease. Fortunately, disease and parasite outbreaks seldom impact the quality of venison or make it unsuitable for consumption. This guide provides an overview of the diseases, parasites and injuries that can affect free-ranging white-tailed deer in Missouri.
Archive version. For most recent information see extension.missouri.edu.
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Wrather, James Allen; Sweets, Laura E. (University of Missouri Extension, 1998)
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