How Does Ehd Kill Deer: Unveiling the Deadly Mystery

How Does EHD Kill Deer

EHD, short for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, is a viral disease that affects deer. It is caused by the EHD virus and is typically spread by biting midges, also known as “no-see-ums”. EHD can have a devastating impact on deer populations, causing both direct and indirect effects on the animals.

Direct Effects

1. Damage to Organs: EHD primarily affects a deer’s organs, including the heart, liver, and lungs. The virus causes severe inflammation and hemorrhaging in these organs, leading to organ failure and eventual death.

2. Lethargy and Discomfort: Infected deer often become lethargic and show signs of discomfort. They may have difficulty walking, exhibit weakness, and display labored breathing due to the damage to their respiratory system.

3. Fluid Accumulation: EHD can cause fluid accumulation within deer, leading to swollen limbs and a bloated appearance. This fluid build-up can further impede a deer’s mobility and overall health.

Indirect Effects

1. Reduced Appetite: Infected deer may experience a decreased appetite due to the virus’s impact on their organs. This reduction in food intake can weaken the animals and make them more susceptible to additional diseases and infections.

2. Impact on Breeding: EHD can affect the breeding patterns of deer. Infected does may have difficulty conceiving or carrying a healthy pregnancy to full term. Consequently, this can negatively impact the population growth of deer in affected areas.

3. Interference with Migration: Deer are known to migrate seasonally to find suitable food and shelter. However, EHD can disrupt these migration patterns as infected deer may struggle to keep up with the herd due to their weakened state. This disruption can further impact the overall distribution and population dynamics of deer.

Preventing the Spread of EHD

1. Reduce Standing Water: Biting midges, which transmit the EHD virus, breed in stagnant water. By minimizing areas of standing water and addressing any drainage issues, you can help reduce the population of midges and decrease the risk of EHD transmission.

2. Insect Repellent: Applying insect repellent can help deter biting midges from feeding on deer. However, it is important to choose a repellent that is safe for use on animals and follow the instructions carefully.

3. Monitor Deer Populations: Regular monitoring of deer populations can help detect any signs of EHD outbreaks early on. This allows for prompt action to be taken, such as implementing appropriate management strategies or contacting wildlife authorities for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions On How Does Ehd Kill Deer: Unveiling The Deadly Mystery

How Does Ehd Kill Deer?

EHD (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease) is caused by a virus that attacks deer’s immune and circulatory systems, leading to internal bleeding and organ failure.

Why Is Ehd A Threat To Deer Populations?

EHD can spread rapidly, causing high mortality rates in deer populations. It can also affect antler growth and reproductive capabilities, impacting the long-term survival of deer herds.

What Are The Symptoms Of Ehd In Deer?

Symptoms of EHD in deer include fever, swollen head and neck, ulcers in mouth and throat, respiratory distress, excessive salivation, and eventually death due to internal hemorrhaging.

How Is Ehd Transmitted Among Deer?

EHD is primarily transmitted among deer through bites from infected midges (small flies). These midges become carriers of the virus after feeding on infected deer.


EHD can be a significant threat to deer populations, causing direct damage to organs and resulting in death. The indirect effects of reduced appetite, breeding disruption, and migration interference can further worsen the impact on deer. By understanding how EHD affects deer and taking preventative measures, we can work towards mitigating the spread of this devastating disease and protecting our deer populations.

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