NY lump face deer

Hi Mike: I was told that you may be able to help identify the problem with this doe who keeps hanging around our apartment complex. She is very tiny, but there is obviously something wrong with her face – she has large lumps up and down her nose up to her eyes. I’ve attached a photo. We’ve named her Crystal as she made it through the harsh winter – we’re in the Finger Lakes Region of central New York. She will come right up to us and seems very curious about people. She will sit and stare at us while we are outside. She comes within about two feet of me whenever I head outdoors. The local herd of deer chases her off, as though they know something is wrong with her. She’s extremely tiny – her back comes up to waist height and I’m 5’4″. Her coat is very fuzzy compared to other deer around – perhaps her immune system is attempting to fight this off?

Just thought you may be interested in the photo and/or have some information about why she looks the way she does. -Thanks, Heidi Hartman, NY

While this has similarities to the other big-nose deer we’ve posted, I think there is something else going on here related to the brutal winter of 2014. I ran it by QDMA biologist Kip Adams:

Hey Mike: The message/photo you received comes from my part of the country.  I’m just over an hour from the Finger Lakes Region. The deer appears to be in poor health – it’s certainly been a tough winter here and her condition likely isn’t helping her case. The fuzzy coat is likely from her reduced health status.  I can’t tell from the photo exactly what is wrong but I’m guessing the swelling is injury related or is a result of a serious infection.  From the email it sounds like the deer has been around for a while so it may survive and recover, although it would probably be easy picking for a coyote right now.  That may be the reason it is hanging so close to Heidi’s house – for protection.  -Kip

This is the kind of interesting and unique stuff you find only here on BIG DEER. Hope this little doe survives!

UPDATE from Heidi Monday March 17, 1:35 PM: This little doe came by our place the day of another storm last Wednesday and was drenched and shivering from the freezing rain. Her face was looking a little better, but she seemed to be having a hard time seeing. My heart broke when I saw her as I knew the temperature would be dropping that night below zero with high winds. That was the last time I saw her. We did what we could for her, but with the storm there wasn’t much we could do. I looked for her all day Saturday and Sunday thinking maybe she got lost, but haven’t seen any sign of her. Thanks so much for posting her picture and story here.–Heidi