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CWD testing nightmare
My dad, brother, and I went on a mule deer hunting trip this last weekend. My dad scored on a nice buck Saturday evening. Just out of curiosity we thought we would get it tested for CWD. We watched videos about how to extract the samples to be sent off. And I also called the Department of Wildlife and Parks and visited with them about it. They said that I could drop it off at any Veterinary and they could send it off for me. So we decided to just take them the whole head and let them extract the samples for us. So my dad dropped his deer off at our local vet yesterday morning and told them he would be back to get it. He called up there this morning to get his deer and they said it was gone. They said they sent the whole deer head off. So he decided to drive up there and talk to them about it. And explain to them that all they had to do was extract some glands from the head region. And this is what they gave him when he showed up at the veterinary office to try and figure out how to get his head back when they were done sampling it
Wow, good thing you got pictures, a good taxidermist should be able to fix you up
Most vets offices around here are packed with anti-hunters for staff. Have to wonder if this wasn't malicious or just stupid.
That's absolutely crazy! Heads would roll if it happened to me!!! I'm not a freak out kinda guy but that would make me lose it completely.
What a tragedy- good intentions and heart/bad outcome.
I had a friend who had in his possession a road killed buck with a legal road kill tag... It was a HUGE buck...... he mentioned to our animal control officer that he wondered if it should be tested for CWD....... and it got called into the DNR...... My buddy ended up in a pissing contest with a LT from the DNR and they confiscated the head to test it and never got the antlers back..... I told him if it was me there was no way I would have given those antlers to him.... He can have any other part of that deer to test but he's not getting the skull cap and antlers..... If there's a problem in the testing let me know and I'll surrender the antlers....... There's no legal requirement to turn them over .....in Michigan anyways....
I’ve come to the terms that EVERYONE has a boss. I’d start climbing that ladder
I would be pissed too and I am a vet. I never take one in without making sure if the person wants the head back intact. 5 minute extraction process to get the samples you need for the test and that doesn't involve doing anything with the antlers or skull plate. If they didn't know how to do it, they should have told you they would have to send in the whole head. But, I have to be devils advocate. Don't you think you should have made it clear to the vet, that you wanted it back intact? if you did, and they did this, you have a right to be really pissed. But either way, they were incompetent for not asking.
As far as people in vet clinics being anti-hunter, not in my neck of the woods! We have 5 vets, and all are hunters.
Living a CWD hot spot I'm sure I have eaten more than a few deer that had it.
He did tell them he would be back to get it. As far as saying need it fully intact, do not believe there is a need to because no part of extracting the samples has anything to do with cutting any bone. It can all be done with a knife, and cutting skin and tissue only. Called them twice today and they refuse to call me back. I will walk in and talk to them tomorrow. I will be the one doing it because my dad did not think he would be very civil if he was doing it. He is rather pissed.
OH H$LL No, I would lose it.
Wow. There are truly no words. I would go batshit crazy on them.
Look at the picture of the deer. To think a deer as healthy, big and studly as that had CWD is crazy. Sorry for your loss. Great deer!
txhunter58, in my neck of the woods almost every veterinarian is an anti-hunter. No offence but no way would my head be going to any veterinarian anywhere. To bring a dead, specially from a wild animal into a place that is about saving and caring for animals is a recipe for what happened in the picture above.
My current dosage of happy pills would not save anyone in that office. Good luck, that sucks
The skull cap and antlers can be cut off of a head before it is sent for testing. The intact head IS NOT needed for testing.
Heads would roll...no pun intended.
It sucks for sure but this seems like a lot of over reaction to me...
Do you think this was done maliciously? Why would they even give them back if they were trying to prove a point?
Just get a taxi to fix you up and move on.. no need to go bitch someone out in my opinion.. you could have removed the skull cap before taking it in..
Seems like an unfortunate misunderstanding. At least you got the antlers back. Not sure I understand all the anger over a bit of skull cap?
He was going to get a euro mount done on it is why we did not have the school cap cut off. I do not believe it was done maliciously. I believe they just did not know what they was doing. And they refuse to admit that anything they done was wrong. And will not return my phone calls at this point. We called K State Veterinary to try and get the head back, but once it enters their laboratory it is not allowed to leave for health security reasons.
With all the recent precautions coming from the CDC about CWD I would hope a better (simpler) system of testing can be developed.
There's an excellent video on the Minnesota DNR website that shows you how to remove the lymph glands yourself that way you can send them in for testing yourself.
Wisconsin does an excellent job, on testing, if you want it.... Sorry no excuse for that, if you do not know what your are doing, don't do it..... Seems like they have a flawed system, with little training.........
Having been down a sort-of similar road, I too learned my lesson the hard way to never leave a skull you want left intact with someone you are unfamiliar with.
I had a butcher who cut the skull cap to remove the antlers, even after I left explicit instructions NOT to do that so a euro mount could be done. Boy was I pi**ed off and expressed my displeasure. Never went back there again.
Based on your story, I just don't understand why, after doing the research to take your own tissue samples, you choose not to do it. I feel bad for your Dad that his antlers ended up that way.
Sue them for deliberately and maliciously destroying your property. Other testing facilities can vouch for the simplicity of the test performed.
It is very simple to take the nodes out that they test for CWD. A friend of mine had just backpacked the head/cape of his bull elk out to our camp in Wyoming a few weeks ago. No sooner than he got to camp a G&F employee stopped to see if he had the vial of blood they send to hunters to be used for a brucelosis check. Wade had never received the kit, so the guy asked if he could at least get the nodes from the head to be checked for CWD. The hide had already been cut all the way up between the ears in order to take the head/cape off at the kill site and bring it back. The guy showed Wade what he wanted right at the back of the head and Wade had the nodes out for him in less than a minute! The same could have been done by anyone on that buck, so it's a shame it was left at that Vet's Office to get butchered up the way it was.
My buddy is a vet and he said he just takes a brain sample thru the foramen magnum. Funny, he just sent me a pic yesterday of a head and cape from a buck he was testing. Definitely no anti-hunter vets that I know of around here. My buddy even has a neon NRA lamp in his front window:)
I cry every time I look at those pictures.
Now that being said, I would never trust anyone with the head of any critter I wanted to mount in any shape or form. (Other than a taxidermist I trust). To many folks who don't understand hunting, these are just animal parts/organs to them. Not their fault, but understand they don't view animals in the same way we do. We see symbolism, they see animal parts.
Well I got a hold of the boss/owner today. He said that is the only way that you can test a deer for CWD is to send the whole head off. Or cut the head open and extract the brains and send them in. I tried to tell the him that there were other ways and he got really defensive. And yes I also realize that I could have extracted those parts myself. But to me that is not the point. To me the point is he did it wrong and will not admit to it. I believe there should be some accountability to this. I think we should have at least got an apology. But not in the least was he apologetic. Then he had enough nerve to ask me why I was even getting it tested. I told him that it came from a known area with CWD and I would like to get it tested before I eat the meat. He said if I was that concerned about the head obviously I was a Trophy Hunter and did not even care about the meat, that I should have just cut off the head and left the rest lay. And then I would not have to worry about CWD. So I guess that is the end of it. We will not pay him for the testing services and we will take that money and put towards getting it turned into a Euro mount.
A DVM (also). Sorry about your loss. Sounds like a mis-understanding. The DVM thought that it would be easier to send in the entire head then to extract the brain or other tissue. I know with rabies samples (yes this is different) , in some cases it is easier to send in a small cat head then to go through an extraction process. As far as not paying him.... lab fees will be charged to the DVM and he can hold back the results of the test if he wants to be hard about it. You will never know positive or negative. Hope that it all works out for you & you don't end it small claims court. By the way..... REALLY NICE BUCK.
"He said if I was that concerned about the head obviously I was a Trophy Hunter and did not even care about the meat, that I should have just cut off the head and left the rest lay. And then I would not have to worry about CWD"
Sorry pointingdogs, as I stated, I am a vet too, but if this vet really said the above, he is a jerk and an antihunter. With that bit of info, I would recommend that Ks contact the state veterinary board about the matter. Not sure he would have a case of malpractice, but his actions and comments are unprofessional, and it would rattle his cage and hopefully keep this from happening to someone else in the future. What he said was totally over the edge.
"The DVM thought that it would be easier to send in the entire head then to extract the brain or other tissue" .
Not really true because you don't extract the brain at all . Sounds like he just didn't know how to obtain the samples. You need to send in the retropharyngeal lymph nodes and the obex . Both can be obtained in less than 5 minutes without cracking the skull. You get the lymph nodes and then disarticulate the skull from the C-1 vert and cut out the obex at the foramen magnum. A pair of exam gloves, a used #10 scalpel blade is the only equipment required.
TX: I agree with everything that you state, however, not everyone is like me or you. I am sure that you know a couple in every profession. You know what trying to say (just being polite). Where do you practice in Texas... if I may ask?
What the HELL were you thinking??? There are numerous posts on here about CWD testing....Wisconsin you only take out a Lymph node....the old lady at the corner store knows how to do it. "I am here from the govt. and I`m here to help"....LMAO
In the Texas Hill country northwest of San Antonio. Not far from where the first CWD positive cases were found on a game farm.
If that Vet responded to the OP like that he both doesn't know what he's talking about to get the CWD sample and his discussion with the OP were very unprofessional. I'd be notifying the state Vet Board just like our other Vet mentioned in his post.
It is beyond me why anyone would think a vet would know what to do. Unless they are hunters, they have no idea what you are talking about. As simple as it is to cut off a skull plate, extract a brain sample and send it off, why take it anywhere? Would you go to a cardiologist to have your colonoscopy? Or go to a gynecologist for a brain scan? If a simple pill will cure your headache, why see a doctor? Just do it yourself, next time.
Watching a video of how to do it doesn't mean the average person can do it themselves. Sometimes I even have trouble finding the lymph nodes and sometimes the salivary glands in the area can look like lymph nodes. Also, when a buck has been fighting, the lymph nodes can be distorted, enlarged, dark red. And when you throw in a swollen neck of a rutting buck, that makes things even look more different. I will agree with you that the vet probably didn't know how to do it, but he can either watch the videos and figure out how to do it (and with his basic anatomy knowledge he/she should be able to do it then) or tell the person that the only way they could do it was to send in the whole head and would that be OK. That is just common sense. I too doubt they meant to do any harm and not being hunters they probably thought all they had to return was the unattached antlers, but what you do then is to admit you screwed up and apologize and ask if there is any way you can help to make it up. Maybe all he is guilty of after he screwed up with the head is being a jerk, and unfortunately we don't have a pill or a shot for that.
"As simple as it is to cut off a skull plate, extract a brain sample and send it off, why take it anywhere"
That is not what you do to collect samples for CWD. You don't need a brain sample and there is no cutting off the skull plate. As far as I know you can either just send in just the retropharyngeal lymph nodes (which is prob over 80% accurate, but not as good as if you send in the obex too). The obex is at the beginning of the spinal cord where it exits the head. So you cut down and get the lymph nodes and then cut down to the obex by cutting the 1st cervical vertebrae from the head. I don't remove it just expose it by cutting the vert attachments. This exposes the obex which is then removed with forceps and a scalpel. Takes me less than 5 minutes and the head and neck are still attached and nothing is done to the head or skull plate. All I use is a scalpel blade (a used one in fact) and a pair of exam gloves. . Granted, this vet obviously didn't have the knowledge to do that, but he made a huge error in not making sure whether they wanted the head back or not. You don't have to be a hunter to realize that people mount deer.
Disclose who the vet is.
Let’s give him some bad publicity. About the only way he will feel it.
Yeah, lets do to this vet what the antis did to the dentist who shot Cecil. Eh, who am I kidding that was left rich ridiculousness.
I would buy a newspaper ad including a detailed description of the incident.
txhunter58 (David), Would you happen to know of a GOOD QUALITY Youtube video that shows the proper extraction procedure, as well as what the lymph nodes and obex will look like? If not, I nominate you to make one....:)
That is as good of a video as I have seen. Even so, to someone who has not done this before, it can be confusing, especially if the lymph nodes are inflamed or if the deer has been dead and the head not kept on ice the whole time. As with anything, DOING is different than WATCHING whether a video or in person.
That said, a layman doing this and a doctor trained in anatomy of multiple species is different. Any vet that watched that video should be able to obtain the required samples if they want to. There is also no shame in any vet saying that you don't want to learn/perform it.
The thing I do different than in the video is I don't remove the head, I place the head/neck upside down and make my cuts just as described, but when I am done the neck is still attached to the head. When you cut the attachments on both sides of the cervical vertebra you can then bend the neck backwards to expose the foramen magnum and obex. Faster than what is described in the video and less "pieces" to clean up.
I think the biggest lesson here is if someone does this in the future to be SURE they know exactly what you want back from them. I have no doubt this clinic thought that you just wanted the antlers back, so that is what they saved. It was an honest mistake made out of ignorance of what a hunter would want. The conversation after the fact is what disturbs me.
i just recently got back from colorado and the unit i was hunting in had mandatory testing. the morning after i shot my buck i took the head and horns to the dow office after a few questions concerning location of kill etc. they took the head and removed several glands for testing took maybe five minutes and i was done. got results back a week later and my buck tested positive. i might add that deer can carry this disease for years and look completely healthy until the later stages
Wow !! So did you take the meat/cape and horns back to Texas ?? What do you do now ?? Can you eat it ??
i left with my horns as soon as they were finished taking their samples i was contacted by phone about a week later with the results dow recommendation was to discard the meat which by the way i had already processed
Did they offer to refund your license fee?
i left with my horns as soon as they were finished taking their samples i was contacted by phone about a week later with the results dow recommendation was to discard the meat which by the way i had already processed
So were your horns still attached to the skull cap when you went home.... and second.... are you going to discard the meat or eat it ?? Sorry for all the questions....
Thats a tough one to swallow Hunter...I hope that was the only deer processed with the equipment before cleaning. I'd be down right sick if I had infected other meat!
That would be my next question.... What happens if you had taken a deer to a butcher and hundreds of deer were processed on the same equipment.... then later found out your deer came back positive ???
Hunter, did they check the age of your buck? Was it healthy looking? Picture? .
Also, did they tell you what to do with the meat??? Can't just dump it on the back 40.
No offence WHAT SO EVER and not trying to be Monday morning Q-Back. But I would have NEVER, EVER sent a sample from a trophy animal to be checked for ANYTHING! And yes without doubt vest are overwhelmingly infested with anti-hunters.
Not sure that statement is accurate. I suspect it would be accurate to say most aren't hunters. But that takes into account the fact that for the last 20 years, 75% of vets graduating have been women. .
But I can tell you a question I have heard numerous times: "How can you be a vet to save animals and hunt to kill them?" We certainly are a far cry from when I got out of school. Back then, the majority of vets were men/women who grew up realizing that farming, ranching, and hunting were integral parts of what is real life. And you have to realize that the majority of vets today practice only small animal medicine. 30 years ago they were in the minority.
I got in an argument with a guy on this sight about this subject. Montana just confirmed 2 cases of CWD on the Wyoming border. I ain’t eating that shit it will have a huge effect on hunters here in the future and Wyoming has to stop the elk feed ground in Jackson. Would any of you feed CWD meat to your family ? Not me
Not me. But it is a choice more and more of us will have to make in the future. The saving grace in my neck of the woods is that all ranches, including all low fence ranches, have exotics. Most are not susceptible. Axis for one, and they are great eating. But to think that one day I may not be able to eat the whitetail on my own ranch. Depressing.
From the research I have seen, u do not want to be eating cwd meat... my wife doesn’t want to eat or our kids to eat deer at all anymore... I’ve been struggling with this for awhile... the testing is good but not foolproof
Big Bear, yes the horns were still attached and yes i will discard meat just not sure at this point the best way to do that. ohio hunter, processed the meat myself, so, no cross contamination but their very well could have been because i understand it could take up to 2 weeks before notification. txhunter58, no age was not checked but he was definitely an older buck yes the deer was was in very good shape according to DOW animals can carry disease for years and appear to be healthy before they begin to show any signs of being sick. DOW suggested burying or putting in landfill. not sure either is the best option Dartonjager, this was a mandatory test for the unit i was hunting i will say that if i were hunting in an area that had cwd in the past i would have the test done for piece of mind if nothing else all that is required is for them to take a few glands out of the neck for testing
Where I live here in the "core" hotspot of CWD, most people don't test for it anymore (unless required - ex.. Moose), the game processors don't take any special precautions, and the panic over it has long passed.
The incidence of the human variation of CWD, CJD-V, is lower in our county and the surrounding counties than the national average, even though hunters and their families and friends have been eating thousands of CWD infected deer and elk for at least 60 years, likely way longer. Maybe we've developed an immunity to it? ;-)
Cracks me up when I hear hunters say theyd never feed suspected venison to their kids, or whatever, but will send their sons out to get their brains bashed in playing football when we KNOW what that does.
Jaquomo, i actually shut that one down too.. lol
My wife recently read a new article about CWD and she is wigging out about it... I understand her concern and don't want to expose my family to something we really don't know much about yet especially as new research is coming out...
I'm still going hunting and i'm still eating vension but thats my choice.. And i'll probably get them tested..
Holy shit, how is any of this the OP's fault?
I am really sorry this happened, I hope you can still get it mounted so it brings happy memories instead of this nightmare.
Details from the hunt? :)
Hunter: Did they offer to reimburse you for your license. I know some guys that they did refund the license fee in years past. If they didn't offer, you might ask
Jaquomo: And some people let their kids drive will in possession of a cell phone. Of course, THEIR kids surely wouldn't drive and text! BTW, I played football, and if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't.
Life is dangerous and we do "risky" things every day. And you are on very good ground scientifically feeding CWD deer to your kids. But if it ever does cross, it will probably be in young kids or immunosuppressed (chemo) adults. I don't have to make that choice yet, but doubt if I will ever feed my grandkids a positive deer. To each his own
txhunter58, yes they did offer to reimburse me for the license and also for the processing