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Veterinary Medicine International
Volume 2010, Article ID 684924, 8 pages
Research Article

Causes of Mortality and Diseases in Farmed Deer in Switzerland

1Centre for Fish and Wildlife Health, Institute of Animal Pathology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Postfach 8466, 3001 Bern, Switzerland
2Institute of Parasitology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Länggassstrasse 122, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
3Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Postfach 8466, 3001 Bern, Switzerland
4Institute of Veterinary Virology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 266a, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland

Received 4 March 2010; Accepted 13 June 2010

Academic Editor: Michael Stoskopf

Copyright © 2010 Veronika Sieber et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To investigate diseases and causes of mortality in Swiss farmed deer, deer found dead or shot due to diseased condition between March 2003 and December 2004 were requested for a complete postmortem examination. One hundred and sixty-two animals were submitted. Perinatal mortality, necrobacillosis in 3 week to 6 month old deer, and endoparasitosis in 6 month to 2 year old deer were identified as the most important causes of loss, followed by ruminal acidosis, which was diagnosed in 22% of deer older than 1 year. Congenital malformations were observed in 15% of deer less than 6 months old. Reportable infectious diseases known as major problems in deer farming in other countries were rare (yersiniosis, malignant catarrhal fever) or not observed (tuberculosis, chronic wasting disease). Overall, the results indicate that the Swiss deer population does not present major health problems of concern for domestic animals.