Back in 2009 I photographed this Whitetail Doe with a terrible looking growth near her mouth. This was at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. I have seen Deer with large growth on their bodies before, but not one like this one. It looks like it could burst at any moment.
I did some research and I discovered that Deer get a common skin disease called Fibromatosis. I'm not sure if this is what this Doe has, but it could be. I also read that Infected deer behave normally unless the location of the fibromas blocks vision or results in other physical impediment to normal activities.
Whitetail Doe With Fibromatosis- Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge - Oklahoma
Fibromatosis In Deer Facts
- Large, warty growths, or fibromas appear as firm, round, nodular, hairless, pigmented skin abnormalities adhered to or incorporated within the skin of deer.
- The masses occur most frequently around the eyes, mouth, face, neck, and forelimbs, and may appear as a single mass or numerous growths.
- In a survey made in New York state it was found that the incidence of fibromatosis is highest in deer 2.5 years of age and younger, and 5 times higher among bucks than does.
- Infected deer behave normally unless the location of the fibromas blocks vision or results in other physical impediment to normal activities.
- Fibromatosis is not an important cause of deer mortality. The disease is not known to infect humans.
- There is no reason to believe that fibromatosis of deer is infectious to domestic animals.
- Source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.