I have been feeding the deer here at my house for 17 years. There are a few hundred acres of woods behind me and a large wooded subdivision beside that. The herd numbers tend to stay around 12 individuals and those numbers change with new fawns added to the mix in the Spring and buck dispersal in the Fall. The herd expands to about double that number in the worst part of winter. I lose a few to hunting and a few to the road. Since I take deer from other places, It is important for me to give back here at this "house herd". I enjoy watching, studying the movements of, and learning from those deer. They have taught me a lot.
There is a particular doe who is a regular visitor here, who injured her foot over the winter, probably by stepping into a hole when she was running or something similar. Her right front foot swelled up to about the size of a baseball and she could not put any weight on it. Over time, the swelling went down and she walks on it fairly normally now. The inside toe of her right front hoof now grows much longer than the other side of the hoof. I can approach this animal fairly closely and will try to get a picture of her foot to show what I'm talking about.
Has anybody else ever encountered this on a deer? My guess is that because she does no put weight evenly on that foot, the inside hoof does not get trimmed naturally by wearing down as she walks on abrasive surfaces. It looks really odd and makes her track very distinctive.
I would be curious to hear if anybody else has encountered this?
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