Food Animal and Theriogenology Specialty and Referral Service
CATTLE AND DEER VETS of LOUISIANA
We provide Louisiana with statewide services for all cattle and white-tailed deer.
Sometimes preventative care isn't enough, and catching a problem before it spreads becomes key. The correct care at the correct time is always the answer, and while having good doctors is equally important, our doctors care for animals in every sense of the word. We are a full-scale emergency veterinary clinic if you experience troubles at any hour. If you or your herd are having issues, give us a call with your concerns. No problem remains a small problem if left unattended.
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Part of being the best Cattle and Deer Veterinarians is keeping our state's cows healthy.
Healthy cows, make for a healthier Louisiana. We do our part to control the outbreak of disease, remedy reproductive issues, or sometimes just inform you how to properly care for your herd in any situation. Don't let your cattle issues get the best of you. Our doctors have the education and experience to remedy any bovine problems. Call today if you have any issues.More Cattle Info
Deer Veterinarian and Food Animal Specialist and Theriogenologist, Dr. Jacques Fuselier, DVM
We understand your White-tailed deer health is an integral part of your success! For some, it is a way of life, and for others, it's simply enjoying their hunting preserve as a hobby. For the leading Cattle and Deer Veterinarians of Louisiana, Whittington Vet Clinic handles all cases competently and confidentially. Anywhere you are located in Louisiana, we are willing to assist, please give us a call.More Deer Info
Mon - Fri: 7am - 5pm
Sat - Sun: By Special Appointment
Call us with any problems or issues you may have. Louisiana, we are here to help, always.
Dr. Paul Whittington and Dr. Jacques Fuselier are Louisiana's modern large animal veterinarians. They are always more than willing to travel statewide to be your cattle and deer veterinarians.
Newsletter October 2016
Lameness in Whitetail Deer
Lameness is a generic term used to describe foot or leg pain that causes an animal to walk abnormally. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines lameness as having an injured leg or foot that makes walking difficult or painful. Lameness in Whitetail deer can be due to a bacterial infection or trauma. Early recognition, diagnosis of cause, and treatment is important to minimize further damage, as well as life-threatening issues associated with lameness.
It is common for bacterial infection to cause lameness in Whitetail deer. These can be isolated to the hoof or extend into one of the lower joints or tendons. There are several different bacteria that are known to infect the hoof, but Fusobacterium necrophorum, Trueperella pyogenes, and Dichelobacter nodosus are the most common. These organisms are particularly concerning because they produce several types of toxins that can minimize the deer’s local immune response and dissect deep into the soft tissue structures of the hoof. It is not uncommon for a prolonged infection to cause systemic (body-wide) disease and even death. If the infection is not treated appropriately, surgical debridement is often required. Moreover, surgical removal of the infected claw is sometimes required.
These bacteria are found in the environment and are usually opportunistic. If there is an injury to the hoof that results in a crack or puncture to the hoof capsule, these bacteria take the “opportunity” to invade that area, resulting in infection or abscess formation. While there are commercially available vaccines produced for cattle, these vaccines have not been validated for efficacy in deer. Autogenous vaccines are also available, but the efficacy of these vaccines is questionable. Talk to your herd health veterinarian about the use of these vaccines on your farm. Perhaps, the best way to prevent the spread of infectious bacteria is through early recognition and treatment of infectious lameness and removing the affected deer from its pen until the hoof has healed. This minimizes spread of the infectious bacteria and exposure to other deer.
Trauma is another common cause of lameness in deer. A fractured leg or toe, injured joint, damaged tendon or ligament, laceration, or non-infected cracked hoof can cause lameness in deer. Some of these injuries heal without any intervention, while others usually require some degree treatment or surgery. It is common to see horizontal cracks across hooves in the late summer, early fall months. This is often due to negative affects from fever or viral infections, such as EHD or Bluetongue. If these cracks are not properly trimmed, the deer will be in chronic pain until the hoof grows to a length that the cracked section can break off and eliminate the constant pull on the cracked section that occurs with each step. Additionally, a secondary bacterial infection is a real concern. It is important to have your veterinarian diagnose the cause of the non-infectious lameness and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
It is important to be aggressive with diagnosis and treatment of this ailment in deer. Unfortunately, the “let’s wait and see if it gets better” approach will often make a bad situation worse more often than not. Furthermore, if the cause is infectious, this approach increases the risk of exposure and infection to the rest of the affected deer’s pen-mates.
- Jacques Fuselier, DVM, DABVP, DACT – Whittington Veterinary Clinic, Abbeville, LA – 337-893-8522
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