Texas Deer Association teaming with Texas Tech to study EHD

The Texas Deer Association has announced its commitment to support whitetail deer research conducted at The Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech University.

The TDA Board of Directors authorized a financial contribution dedicated to the construction and development of the Texas Tech facility at their quarterly board meeting in May 2014.

Texas Tech researchers are developing many important projects for the deer industry. One such study topic examines the transmission of insect-borne disease in whitetail deer, such as epizootic hemorrhagic disease. EHD is an infectious, viral disease that is known to have large scale outbreaks in deer populations.

“The Texas Tech research facility is working to combat EHD and other fatal diseases that claim the lives of thousands of deer in Texas and across the country every year, and the Texas Deer Association is proud to support this research,” said Karl Kinsel, executive director for the Texas Deer Association. “Preserving the health and welfare of the Texas deer herd is a big part of our mission. We also want to educate deer hunters, farmers, land and livestock owners about deer diseases which really can have significant negative impacts on Texas deer. ”

EHD is transmitted by a Culicoides biting fly or midge. After about seven days from initial exposure, infected whitetail deer will typically lose their appetite and grow progressively weaker. They often have a rapid respiration rate and pulse, and develop a fever — affected deer frequent bodies of water to lie in to reduce their body temperature — and finally become unconscious. Within eight to 36 hours of visible EHD symptoms, some deer can pass into a shock and die.