Lutra 61(2)_Bekker_2018

Some remarkable bone disorders in digits of a roe deer (Capreolus capreolus)

A mummified roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), found in a casemate in the dunes near Haamstede, province of Zeeland, the Netherlands, showed at the distal interphalangial joints of the right front and the right hind feet a combination of severe destruction and proliferative osteal reactions of the bordering phalanxes. The specific location reminds of foot-rot, a well known condition in sheep and goats. Comparison with unaffected roe deer feet, at the front as well as the hind feet, show a shortening of the length and an increased breadth of phalanx 2, while the standard measurements of phalanx 3 hardly show any changes in measurements. It is quite likely that the condition has been acquired by trotting near water holes in mud and faeces, resulting in contamination with micro-organisms that cause footrot. As a consequence, the space between both hoofed digits were infected and led ultimately to a suppurative arthritis. The location of the inflammatory reactions - the phalanxes - and the pathological anatomic characteristics, lead to foot rot as being the most probable explanation for this condition. However, other microbiological causes, cannot be excluded.