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Blue Tongue (EHD) Buck #8494802 01/04/22 03:05 PM
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Double AC Ranch Offline OP
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A friend saw this buck while hunting and commented that it was lame in its front leg and looked very skinny. Grabbed camera cards and confirmed that this was a deer we had tentatively aged at 4.5 (no prior history) and named Holey. He was very active in the summer and early fall and even the rut. Looking at the cameras we could tell he was all skin and bone and it looked like he was completely missing a hoof with the same leg swollen and infected up to his knee. Made the call to take him out if seen and my dad caught up to him this weekend. Said you could see his hip bones and ribs with a naked eye from 100yds. Did some research and symptoms align with Blue tongue or EHD. Biologist confirmed and recommended not to eat it. Preliminary tooth aging and tarsals align much closer to a 5+ buck so feeling a little better about that as we had lost a different really good 4yr old to the rut.

Weather conditions at the ranch were perfect for a late EHD outbreak and it seems that is likely the case here. We have had a number of deer disappear that have been historically active deer and confirmed no neighbors shot them. We have a live water creek running through the ranch so looks like we will be adding walking that with some waders to the spring chores.

Has anyone else had an EHD outbreak?

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Re: Blue Tongue (EHD) Buck [Re: Double AC Ranch] #8494811 01/04/22 03:12 PM
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That is foot/hoof rot and not EHD IMO. I have seen many deer with hoof rot over the past 13 yrs now. Common amongst bucks this time of the year.


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Re: Blue Tongue (EHD) Buck [Re: stxranchman] #8494840 01/04/22 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by stxranchman
That is foot/hoof rot and not EHD IMO. I have seen many deer with hoof rot over the past 13 yrs now. Common amongst bucks this time of the year.


Could be. We had wondered about that also but felt like weather conditions aligned more to Blue Tongue. We had a super wet spring and early summer and have been basically drought since which is perfect for Blue Tongue. Read that Hoof rot need consistent wet weather. Either way, sad way to end

Re: Blue Tongue (EHD) Buck [Re: Double AC Ranch] #8494846 01/04/22 03:45 PM
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I thought blue tongue was more of a midwest and northern issue?


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Re: Blue Tongue (EHD) Buck [Re: Herbie Hancock] #8494862 01/04/22 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Herbie Hancock
I thought blue tongue was more of a midwest and northern issue?


Our biologist said EHD specifically was Midwest/northern, but blue tongue was more widespread. We hadn’t heard of it in texas before which is why I asked if anyone else had seen anything since the weather conditions aligned well to it. Could very well be hoof rot as STX mentioned.

Re: Blue Tongue (EHD) Buck [Re: Double AC Ranch] #8494874 01/04/22 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Double AC Ranch
Originally Posted by stxranchman
That is foot/hoof rot and not EHD IMO. I have seen many deer with hoof rot over the past 13 yrs now. Common amongst bucks this time of the year.


Could be. We had wondered about that also but felt like weather conditions aligned more to Blue Tongue. We had a super wet spring and early summer and have been basically drought since which is perfect for Blue Tongue. Read that Hoof rot need consistent wet weather. Either way, sad way to end

Weather conditions in the winter months are not what I have seen for Blue Tongue or EHD. Small biting flies are what spread it and they are not as active in the colder months as they are in the spring to fall times IME. IME hoof rot does not need wet weather, as I have seen it in wet years and dry years that were back to back. Hoof rot was more common in the fall months when the bucks were in the rut. A small wound or cut allows the bacteria that causes hoof rot to get into the body. Wet weather makes the skin of the deer easier to cut but in the rut bucks fight and cut themselves all the time. A bucks hooves take a beating in a fight and rocky soils are worse yet. Areas around feeders, food plots, scrapes, etc where deer congregate allow deer to be exposed to the bacteria easier. On a ranch(lot of flint rock gravel) I managed I found 18 bucks with hoof rot or died from it(during the rut) the first year it started. Those that survived had part or all of a hoof missing. I only found one doe and one fawn with it . Of the few bucks that survived it some of them got hoof rot again the next year and had antlers that were deformed from it. Over that 2 yr period I found over 24 bucks dead from hoof rot issues. The worst was a 5 yr old buck that had it on three hooves. Seen a few bucks with one front and one hind leg with it and none of them survived. That county and surrounding counties had well over 100 reported cases of hoof rot that first season. The TPWD biologist wrote a really good article for the local newspapers on foot/hoof rot in the local whitetail deer herd. This was in Colorado County back in 2008 or 2009 time frame. I also found 2 bucks with hoof/foot rot on my place in Goliad County back in 2015 IIRC. Both of those bucks were never seen again and I assumed died from the infection or the rut got them or coyotes got them. I have seen hoof/foot rot on 2 bucks in the summer time but was not sure exactly what season of the year they got it in.
IMO, the deer in your photo has had hoof rot since part of the hoof is missing and the rest of the lower leg is full of puss. If you find a deer dead or kill one with hoof rot, you can grab a hold of one of the hooves and pull it off the foot. When it pulls off the foot it will feel the same way as when you are cooking chicken on the bbq pit...you grab a chicken leg and the bone and meat fall apart. IMO, this buck has had hoof rot in the past and already lost the hooves. He healed up and then got hoof/foot rot again. If you grab the hooves and they easily separate from the rest of the leg/foot then you have foo/hoof rot.
I am not a vet nor a biologist and these observations are from my experience in the field. I have spoken with veterinarians, biologists and feed nutritionists about the issue and what could be done to slow or stop it.
EHD/Blue Tongue are commonly found in Texas. The areas SE of San Angelo had a major outbreak of it about 13 yrs or so ago now. I had a friend who had it on his ranch and he lost a lot of his deer from it. Some survived it but he lost a lot of deer. He told me about other ranches that were experiencing the same thing he was. It was usually in the spring to summer to early fall months it happens.


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Re: Blue Tongue (EHD) Buck [Re: Double AC Ranch] #8494878 01/04/22 04:18 PM
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Here is an article I found about hoof/foot rot.
https://anilogics.com/hoof-rot-what-is-it-and-what-can-we-do-about-it/


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Re: Blue Tongue (EHD) Buck [Re: Double AC Ranch] #8494880 01/04/22 04:20 PM
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Good info thanks for sharing

Re: Blue Tongue (EHD) Buck [Re: Double AC Ranch] #8494961 01/04/22 05:36 PM
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EHD is differently in Texas just ask any Deer Breeder. I say foot rot more than likely.

Re: Blue Tongue (EHD) Buck [Re: Double AC Ranch] #8494984 01/04/22 05:57 PM
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Appreciate all the info!

Re: Blue Tongue (EHD) Buck [Re: Double AC Ranch] #8495071 01/04/22 07:42 PM
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STx blows us away with info again. Much appreciated.


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Re: Blue Tongue (EHD) Buck [Re: Double AC Ranch] #8495188 01/04/22 10:45 PM
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We had a buck with blue tongue on the ranch in La Salle county about 2 years ago. Not sure if he passed from it or not. Also, had one here in Burnet county this past fall, haven't seen it lately either.

Re: Blue Tongue (EHD) Buck [Re: Double AC Ranch] #8495815 01/05/22 07:09 PM
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My understanding with blue tongue/EHD it is 100% lethal and very fast acting, meaning with the onset of symptoms the deer will be dead within 72 hours. Much too short of a time period to lose body mass.

Re: Blue Tongue (EHD) Buck [Re: TWarren] #8496249 01/06/22 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by TWarren
My understanding with blue tongue/EHD it is 100% lethal and very fast acting, meaning with the onset of symptoms the deer will be dead within 72 hours. Much too short of a time period to lose body mass.

It is not 100% lethal, as I have seen deer that have survived it. The deer that do survive it have an uphill battle.


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Re: Blue Tongue (EHD) Buck [Re: stxranchman] #8496250 01/06/22 03:50 AM
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Originally Posted by stxranchman
Originally Posted by TWarren
My understanding with blue tongue/EHD it is 100% lethal and very fast acting, meaning with the onset of symptoms the deer will be dead within 72 hours. Much too short of a time period to lose body mass.

It is not 100% lethal, as I have seen deer that have survived it. The deer that do survive it have an uphill battle.


This was our biologist initial assumption. Told us he likely contracted in late summer during our dry period, managed to survive the initial few days and was fighting an uphill battle it wasn’t going to win.

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