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Findings at necropsy or by examination of organs from reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) in Norway 1998-2011

Josefsen TD, Mørk T, Sørensen KK, Knudsen SK, Hasvold HJ, Olsen L. Funn ved obduksjon og undersøkelse av organer fra rein 1998-2011. [Findings at necropsy or by examination of organs from reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) in Norway 1998-2011]. Norsk veterinærtidsskrift 2014; 126(2): 172-181 (In Norwegian with English summary).

The Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Tromsø regional unit, made 337 reindeer necropsies and examined organs from 175 reindeer during the period 1998-2011. The necropsies were of 7 fetuses/stillborn calves, 30 suckling calves (0-4 weeks), 135 calves (1-12 months), 30 yearlings (1-2 years) and 135 adults (> 2 years). Among organs 85 were submitted to unravel the cause of death or disease, while 90 were incidental findings at slaughter.

Emaciation was the cause of death in 41 % of reindeer calves and older. The occurrence was highest in calves (59 %) and lowest in adults (22 %). Emaciation also was the main finding in 42 % of reindeer organs submitted to unravel the cause of death. In suckling calves emaciation and/or hypothermia within 4 days after birth was the cause of death in 50 % of cases.

Trauma was the second most frequent cause of death (32 %), and car accidents constituted 69 % of the traumas. Predator lesions was the third most frequent cause of death, constituting 10 % of necropsy cases in calves and older animals, and 17 % of cases in suckling calves. Ruminal acidosis was diagnosed in 20 cases, all associated with winter feeding. Infectious keratoconjunctivitis, Pasteurella multocida septicaemia, clostridial septicaemia and elaphostrongylosis were the most frequent infectious diseases. A diverse spectrum of common pathogens was isolated from different single cases of disease. Parasitic lesions constituted 40 % of incidental findings at slaughter. Tumors from 14 reindeer were received, in which lymphomas were most frequent.

NVI authors

Josefsen Terje Domaas

Veterinary pathologist (permisjon)

Mørk Torill

Forsker/veterinær