A retrospective epidemiologic study was conducted to examine causes of mortality of 985 wild roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) submitted to the National Veterinary Institute (SVA; Uppsala, Sweden) from January 1986 to December 1995. Age, sex, body condition, and geographic distribution as related to disease conditions are reported herein. The most common causes of mortality in roe deer were trauma (19%), winter starvation (18%), gastritis/enteritis (15%), bacterial infections (11%), parasitic infection (11%), systemic diseases (11%), neoplasia (2%), congenital disorders (1%), and miscellaneous causes (6%). Cause of death was not determined in 6% of the cases. The distribution of causes of death reported in this study differ from previous works in Sweden in that infectious and parasitic diseases were more common than winter starvation. The pathologic findings in studies like this do not necessarily represent what is occurring in the natural environment, but they do provide a good indication of distribution of diseases over time as well as age and sex structure in relation to disease conditions. Further research and more detailed studies are in progress to better understand specific mortality factors as well as etiologies of certain described diseases in roe deer in Sweden.
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Vol. 35 • No. 4