Adenovirus Hemorrhaging Disease Reported in Deer

Lindsay Wildlife Experience is asking the public to report dead deer to state wildlife officials after a virus that can cause hemorrhaging and sudden death was recently reported in Napa and several other California counties.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has confirmed outbreaks of adenovirus hemorrhagic disease (AHD) and is monitoring deer mortality in their natural habitats and at fawn rehabilitation facilities. The deaths have occurred primarily in fawns and juvenile deer, but have also been identified in adult deer. Outbreaks have been confirmed in Napa, Nevada and Kern counties with suspected cases in other counties. State wildlife officials believe AHD may be widespread in California this year. 

In addition to asking the public to report dead deer using the state’s online mortality reporting form, Lindsay Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital advises that people not feed deer, which will limit their ability to congregate and spread the disease. Adenovirus is transmitted through direct contact with infected deer but does not affect people or domestic animals. The disease can attack deer systemically and cause symptoms including fever, excess salivation, bleeding, seizures and sudden death. Localized infections can result in damage to the oral cavity or upper digestive tract. Fawns are at greater risk for developing systemic disease but yearlings and adults are also susceptible, although their mortality rates are lower. 

For more information on what to do if you should find a sick, injured or orphaned deer, please click here.