A Retrospective Study of Morbidity and Mortality in Pudu (Pudu puda) at the Bronx Zoo: 1983–2005
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2006
Heidi S. Zurawka1, DVM; Julie White2, DVM, DACVP; Bonnie L. Raphael1, DVM, DACZM; Martin D.M. Busch3, DVM, DACVP; Paul P. Calle1, VMD, DACZM; Robert P. Moore1, DVM, DABVP (Avian); Kristine M. Smith1, DVM; Stephanie B. James1, DVM, DACZM
1Department of Clinical Care and 2Department of Pathology, Wildlife Health Sciences, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York, NY, USA; 3VetMedLabor, Ludwigsburg, Germany


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.

Literature Cited

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.


Speaker Information
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Heidi S. Zurawka, DVM
Department of Clinical Care
Wildlife Health Sciences
Wildlife Conservation Society
Bronx, New York, NY, USA

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