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Odocoileus virginianus (Boddaert) (White-tailed Deer) with Scrotal Hernia
Roger D. Applegate, John A. Bryan II, and M. Kevin Keel

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 8, Number 4 (2009): 754–755

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725040 6 NOSoRuTthHeEaAstSeTrnE RNNat uNrAaTliUstR NAoLteISsT V13o(l.1 8):,3 N9–o4. 24 Odocoileus virginianus (Boddaert) (White-tailed Deer) with Scrotal Hernia Roger D. Applegate1,*, John A. Bryan II2, and M. Kevin Keel2 Abstract - A male Odocoileus virginianus (White-tailed Deer) had a 1.42-m segment of large/ small intestine entrapped in its scrotum. This report is the second documented instance of this anomaly, which is common in inbred lines of domestic animals and man. The scrotum and testes of a male Odocoileus virginianus (Boddaert) (Whitetailed Deer) were submitted to the first author by a hunter who had harvested the deer on 26 December 2007. The deer was a minimum of 3.5 years of age, in good physical condition, and had hardened antlers with 10 measurable points. Prior to harvest, the deer had been seen for the previous 3 years with an enlarged scrotum that was described as extending near the ground. The scrotum and testes as received from the hunter were 21 x 17 x 9 cm and weighed 1.96 kg. Our examination revealed a 1.42-m segment of large/small intestine protruding through the inguinal canal and entrapped in the scrotum (Fig. 1). Ingesta were present in the small intestine and fecal pellets in the colon. It is not known whether this male was fertile. Scrotal hernia occurs when the intestines or other organs protrude through the inguinal canal and into the scrotum. Schlegel et al. (1972) documented scrotal hernia in White-tailed Deer, but the prevalence of this anomaly in deer is unknown. Scrotal hernia occurs relatively frequently in inbred lines of Sus scrofa (L.) (Domestic Swine) and other domestic species and humans (Magee 1951, Vogt and Ellersieck 1990). It may occur inadvertently during the complex process of testis descent when Notes of the Southeastern Nat u ral ist, Issue 8/4, 2009 754 Figure 1. Section of intestine protruding into the scrotum of a White-tailed Deer with a scrotal hernia. 2009 Southeastern Naturalist Notes 755 the inguinal canal is open to permit downward movement of the testes (Amann and Veeramachaneni 2007). The primary risk with this condition is catching the scrotum in a fence or other object in the environment leading to castration or entrapping the deer. Other complications may be loss of fertility and problems with intestinal motility. Literature Cited Amann, R.P., and D.N.R. Veeramachaneni. 2007. Cryptorchidism in common eutherian mammals. Reproduction 133:541–561. Magee, W.T. 1951. Inheritance of scrotal hernia in swine. Journal of Animal Science 10:515–522. Schlegel, M.W., T.A. Leege, and R.F. Lapen. 1972. Scrotal hernia in a White-tailed Deer. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 8:320. Vogt, D.W., and M.R. Ellersieck. 1990. Heritability of susceptibility to scrotal herniation in swine. American Journal of Veterinary Research 51:1501–1503. 1Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, PO Box 40747, Nashville, TN 37204; 2Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602. *Corresponding author - roger.applegate@state.tn.us.