By Richard Prior
Tuesday, 30 October 2012
When deer stalking I noticed this buck's left antler was horizontal. After the shot, I could see that the antler was malformed and at one time had been rubbing on the edge of his eye.
It was apparent that the antler was moving and the pedicle was broken, with an open abscess just behind the coronet.
Skinned out, the antler and broken pedicle were found to be joined by thick cartilage and, after cleaning, some calcification was found around the break.
The antler had clearly been broken for some months and, given time, might have completely healed.
I have seen broken antlers before but never a broken pedicle, and I assume it may have been the result of a vehicle collision.
I have only come across one other example and, like this one, there was some attempt to bridge between pedicle and antler.
More usually the antler itself breaks rather than the pedicle.
Such an injury could only have happened in the current year after completion of antler formation, and it is likely to have been the result of a collision with a vehicle.
It is interesting to speculate what sort of head he would have grown next year.
There would doubtless have been some sort of bird’s nest on that side, anticipating that the repair would not have been successful, and the broken antler would have dropped off, as the blood supply to the flap of skin would have been inadequate.
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