We describe foot infection associated with Arcanobacterium pyogenes in three adult male free-living fallow deer (Dama dama) from Sueve Regional Hunting Reserve (Principality of Asturias, Spain). Affected fallow deer were culled in November 1997 and 1998 during the hunting season. Necropsy, radiography, and microbiologic analysis were carried out for each animal. Unilateral swelling of one extremity at the coronary band was observed in all three cases. Areas of bone loss, severe periosteal reaction, and soft tissue swelling were seen on radiography. Lead fragments were observed in one fallow deer. Seven bacterial species were isolated, but only Arcanobacterium pyogenes was routinely found. Weather conditions in the area (mild temperatures and high humidity), the land (alternating pasture land and rock), the animal population density (both fallow deer and domestic herds of cows, horses, sheep, and goats, live side by side in the same areas), and hunting activities could be related to the frequency of these infections.
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Vol. 40 • No. 3