My friend Lori posted a picture of a deer she saw at her home in Cloquet. It appears to have a large sack on the front of it and looks unwell. She asked the question, what's going on with this deer?

A lot of people speculated that it might be a tumor. Some thought it could be suffering from chronic wasting disease (CWD). Cases have been on the rise in Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has been asking hunters to learn how to identify them. However, besides the huge lump on this deer, it otherwise appears healthy.

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I was talking to the DNR earlier this week about ice safety awareness with early ice already out, and I asked them about this photo. They had to forward me on to one of their experts. Dr. Michelle Carstensen works with the wildlife health program at the DNR. Here's what she had to say:

This is a seroma, or a fluid-filled sac.  Usually starts with a puncture wound (bucks fighting or stick puncture or barbed wire) and then as the body’s immune system get to work, fluid builds up in the subcutaneous layer and sinks due to gravity at the low point in the deer’s body.  These will reabsorb in time and cause no issue for the deer.  However, if it gets ripped open somehow, then it may lead to secondary infection which can be more serious.  Bottom line, this is not uncommon.

Well great! Looks like this deer is going to be ok, and she will hopefully eventually heal. Surprisingly one of the people I talked to at the DNR says she sees a photo like this about once a year.

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Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.

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