Whitetail Deer Diseases

Deer are susceptible to a variety of diseases and parasites. Nevertheless, deer diseases do not typically account for a large percentage of deaths.

Few situations actually render a deer unsuitable for the table. Only rare exceptions occur, but if you have questions about the deer you harvested, contact your local DEC agent or the nearest DEC office.

Normal organs and structures occasionally are misinterpreted as abnormal. Lymph nodes, which are found throughout the body, are sometimes taken to be multiple tumors or abscesses. These nodes, are part of the body's system used to fight off disease, and are located under the skin, between muscle groups and in the body cavity. They are beige to light brown and range from 1/4 to 1 inch in diameter. Lymph nodes may become enlarged and darkened when the animal is fighting an infection.

This section covers only a few of the more common parasites and unusual conditions that people, especially hunters, might observe in deer.

Common Diseases Found in Whitetail Deer


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