Really Nasty Infection - Any Ideas
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Messages posted to thread:
Sage Buffalo 24-Nov-17
RJ Hunt 24-Nov-17
tobinsghost 24-Nov-17
GF 24-Nov-17
Woods Walker 24-Nov-17
Vids 24-Nov-17
Glunt@work 24-Nov-17
AZ~Rich 25-Nov-17
Sage Buffalo 25-Nov-17
Vids 25-Nov-17
txhunter58 25-Nov-17
chillkill 25-Nov-17
Fuzzy 27-Nov-17
jrhurn 28-Nov-17
loesshillsarcher 28-Nov-17
Stressless 04-Dec-17
Franklin 04-Dec-17
Bowriter 05-Dec-17
Nick Muche 05-Dec-17
Jeff Durnell 05-Dec-17
Pintail 05-Dec-17
MT in MO 05-Dec-17
Sage Buffalo 05-Dec-17
LUNG$HOT 05-Dec-17
MK111 06-Dec-17
hawkeye in PA 06-Dec-17
Muskrat 06-Dec-17


So I shot a buck this week like I have for years. I've cleaned and butchered 100+ in the last 20 years.

This was a first for me.

As I started cleaning the deer I noticed several abcesses on the deer. Then I noticed yellow fluid on the shoulders under the muscle casing.

It got "real" when I went to debone the hind quarters and cut the tendon near the knee and I opened a channel of yellow fluid that probably measured 8-10 cups. To say it was disgusting would be an understatement. This happened on both sides.

I've searched everywhere online and the only thing I can find is some type of chronic illness.

Needless to say there was no way I was going to eat the deer. Anyone have any idea of what this might be?

There wasn't any injury or wound I could find as that's what I thought it might be.

I couldn't contact a game warden as I was traveling and it was near the end of the trip.

Thank for any ideas.


I have no idea. Never seen anything like that. Maybe someone here will chime in and help out. Sorry to hear you lost your animal.


Global warming??? HA!

This one should be good!

By: GF

Sounds like the entire lymph system was completely loaded...

Was this stuff in some kind of vessel or just pervasive?


I'd contact the nearest CPO ASAP and see if they want it for analysis.

By: Vids

I have no solutions to offer you, but we found the same thing on an elk a few years ago. It was just one spot though, one big abscess on one tenderloin. Yellow puss, maybe a little more watery than pudding. Needless to say, we didn't keep that tenderloin. We had figured it was a wound, and maybe it was since it was localized. Your deer very well could have had something different going on. I'm curious if anyone knows what that could be!


I shot a pronghorn that looked fine on the outside but was yellow and puss filled all through under the skin. Couldn't find any obvious injury.

Not sure about deer but I know from experience that the right bacteria can spread fast and be hard to fight off. I was on antibiotics for strep this summer and got an infection in my leg from a pinhead size scratch that was immune to the antibiotics. I had to get some high powered stuff through IV 3 times to fight it off.


Sounds like the lymphatics were heavily involved with some type of infection the animal was trying to combat. Could have been viral but with abscesses there is likely a widely disbursed bacterial or parasitic infection. Where these "abesses" puss filled and subcutaneous or more deeply within muscle tissue and more cyst-like? The meat may have still been edible (for coyotes??) but certainly its taste would not be too pleasant. I would also not want any part of it.


AZ Rich: The cysts were puss like. The one place I did find something sounds like the meat technically/maybe could have been edible. However, no way I would have eaten it after what I saw. I have a strong stomach and even I was grossed out.

GF: Pervasive. I wish I would have now videod it as it would have made for interesting study.

By: Vids

So give me your thoughts on this - I just found a sac of pus in one of his hind quarters, about 2" diameter and 6 inches long. It was sealed and I just found it because it was an odd looking piece of white meat/fat that isn't normally there. I suspected it was going to be filled with pus and cut into it, sure enough it was.

Would you keep the rest of this hind quarter? From what I can tell all the meat smells fine and this was a completely sealed infection. I'm going to be extra cautious since I'll be feeding the meat to my kiddos.

To clarify - I am not the OP and my entire deer was not filled with this fluid like his. I just found one sealed abscess in the hind quarter.


No, I would not. Better to be safe.


animals infected with tb will have pus filled lymph system.Animals like this should be handed in to wildlife authority and a new tag issued in compensation.

By: Fuzzy

no, no. and NO

By: jrhurn

I killed a buck about 10 years ago that was limping and beat up. When I skinned him, I saw the same thing. My vet friend took a look and said it was a systemic infection and the deer would probably die from it. Could have started with a puncture wound and infection took over. We definitely did not eat, nor should you.



Contusions from a vehicle collision? Resulting in chronic situation?


The buck I shot this year had one abscess in hindquater that was fairly obvious a antler poke, only one muscle group and I easily cut that away, drained a large bit a cup or so but was "capped" until I cut it away and spilled into a bucket... nasty.


If you were any kind of man you would done at LEAST a "shot" of the juice. lol...


First, no, I would not eat any of the meat. Secondly, I'm sure it is too late, now but for future information, you do not need to keep the entire deer. Collect a sample of the "infection" from two or three areas, label, place in ziploc bag and keep refrigerated until you can get it to proper authorities. Request they analyze and keep you informed. Some years ago, I had the exact same experience, Turned out to be the result of an injury of some sort that had healed but caused widespread lymphatic infection, not immediately fatal and not contagious. They gave me another buck tag.

Nick Muche's Supporting Link

Gritty Bowman posted a video of this from a moose this past fall, check it out... looks disgusting as hell....



I once killed a buck in our rifle season that had been shot in the shoulder by a bowhunter 5 or 6 weeks earlier. He was with several does and fawns and was walking with a limp. There was a white spot with no hair on his shoulder where the broadhead was. One antler had fallen off already, and when I turned him to gut him, the other one fell off. It was dark as I skinned him hanging in a tree, but I noticed that yellowy stuff all over, between the skin and meat, and when I got part way down, it began to stink pretty bad, so I stopped and pitched it. I think that broadhead wound had his whole system infected.


I took a real nice buck a few years back that must have been the local bully. Long story short when I skinned him his neck was puffed up pretty good for being well past the rut. In the process of removing the right shoulder I hit an abscess about the size of a softball. After probing around it looked like he took an antler tine through the neck some time earlier in the fall. This had the surrounding tissue pretty greenish in color. Needless to say I worked around that area.


A friend of mine shot a buck during ML season that had what you are describing with sores and puss all over. It was probably 15-20 years ago. Pretty sure none of the deer was eaten. Someone thought maybe it had cancer. I never seen anything like it before or since. It was an old deer. We estimated him at 6 1/2 or older. Had a nice rack, 10 ptr if I remember correctly, but he was real skinny, more bones than meat...


Nick thanks for that video - needed to throw up a little bit. Haha!!!


Wow Nick! Just wow almost barfed In the car just now. Ha

By: MK111

I shot a nice buck in PA in 1975. Cold as ever and when hanging in the shed I noticed yellow fluid coming down his rear leg. There was a infected broadhead in the muscle and a large bag of pus. My friend at the same time there shot a deer and it had a 22LR bullet in the front leg knee and that was all infected with a large pus bag. I came home with 2 deer and only 6 legs. And the meat was just fine.


I shot a buck that had yellow puss like fluid while skinning it, took it to a butcher and he recommended that I didn't eat it.


A friend asked me to look at his fresh killed buck a few years back. The entire hide of the deer (the exterior side) was covered with a white/grey pasty substance, sticky to the touch. Deer was in good weight and everything else looked normal. He was wondering about eating the meat. Pretty much a no brainer. I would say the same for the deer in the original post. Maybe eat a deer with a very much isolated festering injury as with the ones with a broadhead or bullet injury mentioned above, but certainly not when the infection shows indications of having become systemic.

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