Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

August 15, 2012

8 dead deer discovered near Verdigris River

CLAREMORE — Water samples were tested over the weekend in regards to eight dead deer discovered Aug. 8 in or near the Verdigris River.

A biologist searched the area north of the Will Rogers Turnpike bridge where he found the deer and took water samples, said Craig Endicott, northeast regional supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Biologist Erik Bartholomew, of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation,   received the water samples Thursday, and sent them to Oklahoma State University laboratories for testing.
The goal was to find if blue-green algae caused the deaths. 
Water samples from the area came back negative, said Bartholomew.
He said it seems that the deer died from a certain type of viral disease called epizotic hemorrhagic disease, or “bluetongue,” which is transmitted by the bite of a midge-small fly.
Humans are not susceptible to the disease.
The virus causes a fever as it attacks a deer’s lungs and spleen, causing the organs to hemorrhage leading to internal bleeding.
A fresh sample of a sick deer was recently obtained and transported to Oklahoma State University, said Bartholomew. 
The deer will be examined to determine if the viral disease was the cause and the results should be available in about a week.
Affected deer often walk with their heads down, stumble and might drool or foam at the mouth.  
He said people who see sick deer should call their county game warden.

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