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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15375
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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A deer just attacked my daughter's German Shepherd. Do deer

Customer Question

A deer just attacked my daughter's German Shepherd. Do deer carry any dangerous communicable diseases?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry to hear about this attack on your dog! Is he alright? I am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help.
The biggest danger would be an infection in a puncture from one of the antlers, if this was a male deer that attacked. Any deep puncture wound carries a risk of infection.
Did the deer bite your dog?
I am not aware of any serious illnesses that deer carry. I did a search on a vets only website, and found nothing there. If my dog got attacked by a deer, I would treat the wounds the same as any other wounds: cleaning, flushing, antibiotics.
Let me know what other questions I can answer.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The deer was a doe who jumped the fence into my daughter's yard. The female shepherd, age 2, was not barking at the deer, but the deer did have a small fawn on the outside of the fence, near but not in my daughter's yard. My daughter rescued the dog who was terrified and scared the deer away by clapping and shouting. We live in suburban NJ so are around many deer. I have heard of such strange behavior. I don't think the dog was injured although from the odor the deer urinated on the dog.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Correction: I have never heard of such strange behavior by a deer.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
If the dog does not have any wounds, then she is probably going to be fine.
I agree this is strange behavior for a deer, but mothers will do strange things to protect their young, if they think the fawn was in any danger.
Deer can have rabies, like any warm blooded animal. Rabies will make them act oddly, but since the deer fled when your daughter clapped her hands and shouted, that shows normal behavior. I assume your dog is vaccinated, and if the deer did not bite her, there should be no risk; rabies is spread by bites.