Fusobacterium in Deer
(Fuso, Necrobacillosis, Fusobacterium necrophorum, lumpy jaw)
Fusobacterium is one of the most common disease causing bacteria in our deer industry. In deer, it can infect the skin, bone, mouth, jaw, hooves, and internal organs. Because of this, deer infected with Fusobacterium display a wide variety of clinical signs. Two of the more common signs are swollen faces (lumpy jaw) and lameness (foot-rot). Accurate diagnosis and treatment are imperative to overcome this terrible disease. There are commercially available and autogenous vaccines for Fusobacterium, but they provide minimal protection. These vaccines do, however, decrease the severity of the disease and reduce the contagiousness of the bacteria. Proper management is important to minimize disease. Keeping deer in a clean, minimal stress environment and not overcrowding them will decrease the spread of this disease. It is not recommended to purchase deer that have been diagnosed with Fusobacterium. Doing so could contaminate your farm and jeopardize your other deer.
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-What is Fusobacterium?
This is a type of bacteria often referred to as “Fuso”.
-Is Fusobacterium dangerous to Deer?
Yes. It is a common cause of infection in deer.
-Symptoms of Fusobacterium:
1. Swollen jaw or face (Lumpy jaw)
2. Lameness or foot-rot
3. Respiratory problems
4. Knots or abscesses on the legs
5. Uterine infections
6. Mastitis (udder infections)
-Is Fusobacterium contagious?
-Risk factors of this disease:
1. Contaminated environment
2. An infected deer contaminating feed or water troughs
3. Stress. It is a normal inhabitant of the intestines of deer, so stressful situations can increase the spread of this disease.
-How serious is Fusobacterium?
It can be life-threatening. If not treated appropriately, the infection can cause long-term problems in the deer.
-Can Fusobacterium impact my herd, or just affect one animal?
It usually affects only a few adult deer, but can affect several fawns at a time.