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Brain abscesses are an uncommon, but natural occurrence in adult male deer. Abscesses are typically caused by antler rubbing or conflict events between males involving antler strikes to the head.  Lesions caused by injury become infected and fill with purulence.  They are usually found near the antler pedicle or junctions between cranial bones and often times a pocket or canal into the skull can be seen or found.  Abscesses can also cause irregular antler development.  Deer with abscesses may exhibit neurologic behavior such as circling or in-coordination.  Deer might also become emaciated over time.  As with any game suspected of being ill, it is not advisable to consume meat from sick deer.  Please report any deer dead of unknown causes in Florida to the Florida CWD hotline at (866) 293-9282. 


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