Fawns fatal to doe

twee reeen-foetussen

The two fawns take the entire abdominal cavity. Photo: M. Kik

In the beginning of May 2019, a roe deer (doe) carrying fawns considered to be close to birth, was found dead in Overijssel. The doe had no visible injuries and was collected by the DWHC for examination.

The doe was a very skinny young adult, but she still weighed 21.5 kg. Her fur was full of ticks, the intestines were almost empty, and she was carrying two fawns. The most striking about this doe, was the size of her fawns. They were so big that they filled the entire abdominal cavity, putting pressure on both the organs in the abdominal cavity and the organs in the chest cavity. As a result, there was insufficient room for food in the intestines and rumen and breathing was interfered. No other cause or underlying disease has been found to explain the loss of weight.

Because of the Q fever protocol, the uterus has not been opened. The gender and weight of the two calves is therefore unknown.


The size of the two fawns has become fatal to the doe.


PHoto banner roe deer: Dick Pasman