Deer HLS or Shedding (Molting)? - Education Lesson

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Ok, sadly I have been out with buddies all to often and seen deer with HLS and had them say "oh that one must be shedding" or have been on various forums to read the same thing. We need to get people educated, because HLS is a very serious problem and is VERY easily identified. HLS likely causes the death of more deer annually than cougars.


Here is an example of a deer shedding. Things to notice, the deer looks kind of fuzzy like a kitten or kind of scruffy, but notice the deer still are completely covered in hair. :



Here are two examples of deer effected by HLS. Things to notice, a complete absence of hair over a portion of the torso (can also be the hind quarters and legs). The reason the hair is missing is because the mites/lice they are infected with cause an allergic reaction that causes them to itch constantly. The vigorous scratching and biting causes a loss of hair. You'll usually see white or yellow skin where the hair is missing. Generally does and fawns are effected. Rarely you will see a buck infected.

IMG_2151.jpg



Here's more info from WDFW if you care to read more;
Deer 'Hair Loss Syndrome' Fact Sheet | Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
 
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Hair Loss Syndrome is so common on the North Olympic Peninsula in yearlings that if you see twins at least one will have it. I wonder if a medication could be developed that could be added to salt blocks. It seems to get worse every year. Even though deer are a pain in the rear around the yard I hate seeing them sick all the time.
 

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