Research Publication Title

Abnormalities in White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Mandibles

Presenter Information

Patrick M. PowersFollow

Major

Environmental Science

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Alfred Mead

Keywords

white-tailed deer, dental pathology

Abstract

Dental anomalies in free ranging artiodactyls are not well documented, but some cases have been noted. Pathologies resulting from mandibular trauma have been recorded in cervids such as white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Patagonian huemuls (Hippocamelus bisulcus), and Columbian black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus). Dental irregularities are often seen in the form of malocclusion, root abscess due to bacterial infections, and breakage due to blunt force trauma. Studying dental pathologies in wild game are of considerable interest and vital for understanding natural stressors, which is of great importance in managing future populations. Hunting of these animals contributes large amounts of money to local economies. In the present study, 651 white-tailed deer mandibles collected from Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge in central Georgia were examined. All mandibles were physically inspected for lesions, tooth irregularities, developmental anomalies, and additional pathologies. Mandibles displaying abnormal dentition were aged and then further examined to determine the possible cause of the abnormality. Abnormalities observed in this sample of mandibles included “Lumpy jaw” caused bacterial infection, atypical tooth eruption, and misalignment of teeth.

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Abnormalities in White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Mandibles

Dental anomalies in free ranging artiodactyls are not well documented, but some cases have been noted. Pathologies resulting from mandibular trauma have been recorded in cervids such as white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Patagonian huemuls (Hippocamelus bisulcus), and Columbian black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus). Dental irregularities are often seen in the form of malocclusion, root abscess due to bacterial infections, and breakage due to blunt force trauma. Studying dental pathologies in wild game are of considerable interest and vital for understanding natural stressors, which is of great importance in managing future populations. Hunting of these animals contributes large amounts of money to local economies. In the present study, 651 white-tailed deer mandibles collected from Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge in central Georgia were examined. All mandibles were physically inspected for lesions, tooth irregularities, developmental anomalies, and additional pathologies. Mandibles displaying abnormal dentition were aged and then further examined to determine the possible cause of the abnormality. Abnormalities observed in this sample of mandibles included “Lumpy jaw” caused bacterial infection, atypical tooth eruption, and misalignment of teeth.