What are disease signs to look for in deer?
Chronic wasting disease-affected deer and elk show loss of body condition and changes in behavior. The clinical disease is often more subtle and prolonged in elk than in deer. Affected animals may walk repetitive courses; they may show subtle ataxia and wide based stance; subtle head tremors occur in some animals; they may be found near water sources or in riparian areas; they may have periods of somnolence; and they may carry their head and ears lowered. Chronic wasting disease affected animals continue to eat but amounts of feed consumed are reduced, leading to gradual loss of body condition. Excessive drinking and urination are common in the terminal stages because of specific lesions in the brain. Many animals in terminal stages of CWD have excessive salivation and drooling; this may result in wetting of the hairs of the chin and neck. Death is inevitable once clinical disease occurs.