Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is one of the most common infectious diseases of young deer and is one of the most common causes of death.
The bacteria are found in the ground and water, being very good at surviving in cold, wet conditions. Outbreaks will occur when young animals are stressed (weaning, transport, bad weather, feed change etc). It most commonly occurs in deer 4-8 months of age.
The clinical signs you will see in affected deer are that they will isolate themselves from the rest of the herd, look depressed, not interested in eating and will have a green watery diarrhoea to begin with, which can then turn dark or bloody. You can also just find dead deer in the paddock.
Treatment involves giving antibiotics, often to the whole mob in the face of an outbreak. Affected animals should be isolated from the rest of the mob as soon as you notice clinical signs.
The best way to prevent this disease is vaccination. Fawns require 2 shots, 4 weeks apart. It is best to do this as soon as possible after 12 weeks of age, as weaning is a time that an outbreak can occur.
At only $3.35(+GST) per vaccination, you only need to save 1 or 2 weaners to pay for the whole mob vaccination.