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Video: Did this male have a seizure when scratched?


Trail camera footage shows a male scratching before falling and having what appears to be a seizure. courtesy of Growing Deer TV

A video that was shared to Instagram earlier this month by Growing Deer TV shows trail camera footage of a male working a scratch in an undisclosed location. While raising his head to work an overhanging limb, the male suddenly hits the ground and has what appears to be a seizure. At least that’s the theory of Grant Woods, highly respected white tail biologist, habitat manager and host of Growing Deer TV.

Woods says a viewer named John Gibbs sent him the tracking camera footage and asked for his opinion. The video does not have a timestamp and Gibbs chose not to share the location where it was recorded.

“I had never seen anything like it, but after talking we think this male had a seizure,” Woods said, adding that he couldn’t think of any other reasonable explanation. “I’ve never heard of or seen anything like this, and none of my colleagues have mentioned a male acting like this.”

Going down the list of possible causes, Woods explains that seizures are not a symptom of chronic wasting disease (CWD) or epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD). He also doesn’t believe the seizure was caused by anything the deer ate, as it’s likely other deer in the area would have had a similar reaction and Gibbs saw no evidence of this.

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Gibbs has, however, recorded additional footage of the male since the seizure video was shared on November 1. The male returns to the scratch and acts completely normal in later videos. But when he and Woods looked closer, they noticed the deer was missing an eye. It is difficult to say for sure if the deer lost its eye before the video of the seizure was recorded, as this video only shows the right side of the deer. But if that has been indeed the case, Woods thinks he could offer a fuller explanation of the seizure.

“I assume – and it’s a total assumption – that he fought [with another buck] and somehow he got his eye gouged out,” Woods says. “And there was probably some neurological damage with that injury. We’re just putting things together here and I need to clarify that, but I think it’s a pretty logical conclusion.