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From CO Reports for 03/07/2004 DISTRICT 5

CO Carl Vanderwall received a complaint about a diseased deer around the Petoskey area. CO Vanderwall located the deer and observed that it had a cyst/tumor the size of a beach ball on its belly. CO Vanderwall dispatched the animal and delivered it to Wildlife Division in Gaylord.
 

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From our pathologist, Tom Cooley, Rose Lake Lab. MDNR
The cyst/tumor was a hydrocyst or seroma, a fluid-filled cyst that is the result of a traumatic injury, generally on the ventral aspect of the animal, usually in the brisket area but can occur anywhere on the deer's body. The cyst usually contains yellow (serosanguinous) fluid and fibrinous material (the contents are similar in appearance to egg drop soup) and can vary in size from a softball size mass to one 90 X 25 cm in size. This particular cyst measured 44 X 37 cm, involved the udder, and contained approximately 3 gallons of fluid, floating pieces of fibrin, and accumulations of fibrin measuring 10 to 15 cm in diameter. The mass had a blood-tinged inflammed area on the cranial aspect and several small linear necrotic areas on the surface. To read more about hydrocysts go our website at www.michigan.gov and type in hydrocyst in the search category. Direct link
Wildlife Disease Manual- Hydrocyst
 

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for the follow up - good information.

May that have been caused by a 'flesh wound' from an arrow or bullet? Or something like blunt trauma?

ferg....
 

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I checked the rest of the notes taken during the necropsy of this animal. There is indication of an old injury to the right hind leg, involving two healed fractures. The notes do not indicate that these fractures could have been the trauma that encouraged formation of the hydrocyst. Tom is out of the office for the week, I will ask him more about this deer when he returns.
Kristie
 

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Kristie,

Was the hydrocyst life threatening? Had the deer not been put down, would it have lived a normal life. Had a hunter harvested the deer, would the meat still have been edible?

Just curious.
 

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For comments about deer in question, see bold print

Information from the Wildlife Disease Manual:

Clinical signs observed with a hydrocyst are locomotor problems if the cyst becomes large enough (hydrocysts range in size from three inches in length and width to 30 inches in length and 12 inches in width) and hair loss between the brisket and front legs due to the constant rubbing. (In this case udder is red/inflamed)
A hydrocyst oftentimes has a scar present on the wall of the cyst capsule indicating the site of the original traumatic injury. The cyst can contain a gallon or more of serosangineous (yellow-tinged) or blood-tinged clear liquid and fibrinous inflammatory products (similar in appearance to egg drop soup).

A hydrocyst is usually small in size and is not a significant mortality factor to the individual animal or the population. A severely affected animal may have some difficulty moving, thereby making it more susceptible to predation or harvesting by a hunter. (In this case, movement may have been restricted, animal was taken and submitted because of "mass")

Most of the reports in Michigan of a hydrocyst in a deer have occurred in fall harvested animals. The meat of a deer with a hydrocyst is safe to eat.

This information is located at
Wildlife Disease Manual- Hydrocyst, MDNR
 

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Originally posted by kristie
The meat of a deer with a hydrocyst is safe to eat.
That`s good to know. Thanks for the information.
 

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Hi,
I spoke with Tom Cooley, Rose Lake Pathologist, about cause for hydrocysts. The information he shared is that any injury on the underside of the deer could have caused the development of the hydrocyst, because liquid can accumulate down there. The hydrocyst would not necessarily be caused by a penetrating trauma, though that is possible. He also mentioned that in some cases, bacteria can be involved, though he didn't see that indication in this case.
Hope this additional information is useful.
Kristie
 

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Thanks for the follow up kristie.
 
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