The southern pudu (Pudu puda) is the smallest species of deer. Two reports of a novel poxvirus infection in pudu have been published, one of which included secondary fungal infection.1,2 Several fungal-related deaths in neonatal pudu at the Bronx Zoo prompted the review of all pudu health records. The medical records of 64 pudu were examined from 1983–2005: 40 animals were included in this study (18 males, 22 females) and 24 animals were excluded (1 stillborn, 1 aborted fetus, and 22 animals shipped to other institutions). Of the 40 animals, 36 had died and 4 adults (1 male, 3 females) comprised the present Bronx Zoo collection. Clinical syndromes found in neonatal and juvenile pudu were failure of passive antibody transfer (32%), dermatopathy (23%), gastrointestinal disease (14%), ocular conditions (14%), respiratory infections (9%), dental and oral conditions (4%), and trauma (4%). In adult pudu, primary problems included dermatopathy (24%), gastrointestinal disease (12%), musculoskeletal conditions (12%), respiratory disease (9%), dental and oral lesions (7%), renal disease (7%), and trauma (7%). Other less common problems totaled 22%. Necropsy reports of 36 pudu, consisting of 12 neonates (6 males, 6 females), 2 juveniles (1 male, 1 female) and 22 adults (10 males, 12 females) were reviewed. Neonatal and juvenile mortalities were caused by infection (50%), failure to nurse (14%), metabolic conditions (14%), trauma (14%), and unknown (8%). Causes of death for adult pudu included infection (50%), metabolic conditions (22%), degenerative disease (9%), unknown (9%), neoplasia (5%), and trauma (5%).
The authors would like to thank the staffs of the Departments of Clinical Care, Pathology, and Mammalogy at the Bronx Zoo.
1. Junge RE, MC Duncan, RE Miller, DG Gregg, M Kombert. 2000. Clinical presentation and antiviral therapy for poxvirus infection in pudu (Pudu puda). J. Zoo Wildl. Med. 31(3): 412–418.
2. McNamara T, D Gregg. 1994. A novel pox infection in pudus (Pudu puda). Proc. Am. Assoc. Zoo Vet. Assoc. Rept. Amphib. Vet. Joint Conf. Pp. 257–264.