EHD: (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease)

( EHD )

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease

    EHD, Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, is a disease caused by a virus (orbivirus) known to be transmitted by the biting midge (gnat, “no see-ums”). This virus causes severe vasculitis and internal hemorrhage. The clinical signs can be acute (sudden) or chronic (long lasting). The most common clinical signs are excessive salivation, oral ulcers and erosions, lameness, fever, lack of appetite, and death. Few deer survive even in spite of treatment. There are no commercially available vaccines available, but an autogenous vaccine can be made. There are 3 different serotypes of EHD known to infect deer in the US: EHD 1, 2, and 6. Unfortunately, immunity to one type does not provide protection for the other types of EHD, so it is important to find out which type EHD is on our farm.


-What is EHD?

EHD is a type of hemorrhagic disease caused by an orbivirus.

-How do deer get EHD?

As far as we know today, EHD is transmitted by biting gnats called midges. Infected midges feed on deer and transmit the virus during feeding.

-What are early warning signs of EHD?

Usually, the first signs are decreased appetite, depression, drooping ears, lameness, and/or drooling.

-Symptoms of EHD:

1. Death

2. Lameness

3. Ulcers in the mouth

4. Difficulty breathing

5. Trembling and neurologic signs

-Is EHD contagious?

EHD has not been proven to be directly contagious from one deer to another.

-Risk factors of this disease:

1. Midges

2. Wet or muddy areas which supports growth of midges.

3. Having cattle near the deer pen because cattle can harbor this virus.

-How serious is EHD?

Extremely serious and life-threatening!

-Can EHD impact my herd, or just affect one animal?

It can affect just one animal but usually affects a large percentage of the herd.

-Is there a treatment for EHD?

There is no really successful treatment. The best thing is to recognize it early and treat according to veterinarian recommendations. There are many “remedies” circulating around social media, but you should beware of these as many can make the condition worse.


office: (337) 893-8522

Dr. Whittington and Dr. Fuselier are always here when needed. We will get back to you right away.

Comments are closed.