August 2012

posted 12 Sept 2012, 12:11 by Debbie Johnson

August has been a very upsetting month. We have been called out to nearly a dozen young deer after dog attacks or where they have been caught up in stock fencing. The circumstances may be different but the results are similar; horrendous life threatening wounds. Sadly, far too often, these injuries do result in the animal having to be put down. 


The number of stock fencing injuries definitely feels like it is on the increase. As well as the increasing deer population, we think this may be because a lot more stock fencing is being used these days. It may well be that the deer have travelled along known routes for years so when someone comes along and puts a fence up, the adults are usually able to jump it but it’s the youngsters that can’t. They get their legs through the top layer in the fencing and then summersault over the top trapping their leg. They can lie there for hours before they are found, wriggling to try and get it free, which results in these awful ligature and broken bone injuries.


If you come across such a deer, please do not cut it free until you have help. Call one of the rescue centres first and they will help. Even if the wound doesn’t look bad, these ligature wounds do not show their full damage for up to 10 days after the injury occurred. If the animal is released and runs off there is usually no way of catching it and it will most likely die a slow, painful death as the real damage presents itself and septicaemia takes its toll.


Unfortunately a lot of the deer we have had in this year have been found too late and either had to put down straight away or a few days after treatment when the extent of the wounds is becoming more evident. At least these have had pain relief and been kept comfortable in their last days.


It isn’t all bad news though; we have had a fair amount of successes and these lucky ones are now running round our large pen while we prepare to release them back into the wild when they are ready. We have also helped out Folly Wildlife Rescue and taken 3 of their orphans from earlier this year, so we have created a nice little herd that will all be released together.


We have recently gained the help of a local Sussex vet who has offered to help us with the deer, and we have had to call on his services twice in our first week with him week. One of the patients had to be put down straight away as both legs were trapped and the second has had to have an amputation. The good news is that, at the time of writing this little one is doing well.


A reminder to get your thinking caps on because on 23rd September we are holding a Car Treasure Hunt starting in the Surgery Car Park in Lingfield at 10.00 am. Please bring your company and your money because the funds we raise will help us continue to look after these beautiful but unfortunate creatures. We are now the only rescue centre in the area that is taking in deer and vet and medical bills are putting a huge strain on the finances.
Picture below shows some of last years dear fawns one following amputation, still doing well.


Debbie Johnson,
12 Sept 2012, 12:11