growth 1Hi Mike: I found your website and see that you have a lot of knowledge about deer. I’m not a hunter, but love the herd of 9 deer that frequent our yard on most days.

I saw on your blog a post about a deer with a massive growth. I am sending this email and pictures of a huge growth that is on one of our bucks. Have you ever seen anything like this? As you can see it is a huge growth/tumor/abscess hanging from his abdominal area.

I am hoping you can give me an idea of what this might be. It has been there for about 3 weeks…started out much smaller and over the weeks has continued to grow. He is still mobile, doesn’t appear to be in any pain, and has his usual appetite. Thank you for any insight!–Addie

I immediately suspected the buck has a hernia. I ran the pictures by QDMA biologist Kip Adams who said, “I think you’re right, this is a hernia.”

growth 2In deer a hernia occurs when internal organs or tissues pop through an opening in the muscular wall that surrounds the abdomen, but are still covered by skin. Potential causes of a hernia include trauma (being hit by a car) or in the case of a doe, giving birth. Bucks have been known to get hernias as they push and fight violently in the rut.

While Addie says the buck is still mobile and does not to appear to be in pain, the prognosis for this deer is not good. The protruding organs and tissues are unlikely to go back to their normal position in the abdomen. The mass will impact the buck’s ability to move and survive.

“I believe it will be the demise of the buck, likely in the next 6-12 months,” says Kip. “If there was more of a constriction associated with the hernia he would die much quicker.”