Tumors in White-tailed Deer?

Deer with tumors

Question: I came across a photo of a deer with horrible tumors on it’s neck. I’ve seen deer that looked like they had internal tumors on their neck and around their jaw, but the tumors in this photo are huge and external. What is the deal with this deer’s tumors? Is it cancer?

Answer: Wow, that is a lot of tumors on that deer. I’ve never seen a deer that looked that bad off, so I did some looking around and this is what I found. The deer was obviously shot, but I suspect that it would have died either directly from the tumors or from complications because of the tumors.

Source: I’ve never seen tumors that agressive before. And that deer seems to be pretty young, and the tumors seem to have developed at a pretty agressive rate. From what I know about tumors, these cutaneous growths can be malignant and the result of a cancer similar to BPV. It is true that these tumors will somtimes slowly heal somewhat, often times they will eventually kill the deer by blocking their mouth, nose, or eyes.

If the growths around this deer’s mouth get higher or bigger, I think they could easiliy interfere with it’s ability to eat food, resulting in a slow and pianful starvation. Because of this large chance (and the remote possibility of complete healing) I would suggest harvesting this animal. Personally, I would not suggest consuming the meat. Its true that these fibromasts can be contained to the skin, but sometimes they are the result of internal problems. There is no way to know without an autopsy by a trained professional. I think the deer would be more valuable if you donated it to a vet school or research center.

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