Cryptorchism, hypogonadism and antler malformations in black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis) of Kodiak island

G. A. Bubenik, J. P. Jacobson, D. Schams, L. Bartoš

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Distinct antler malformations, (such as lack of points, distortion of antler forms, incomplete velvet shedding, casting above the coronet and a diagonal separation of cast antlers), were detected in Sitka deer (Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis) of the Kodiak Island (Alaska, USA). Many of these deer were also unilateral or bilateral cryptorchids and a few exhibited a moderate or severe separation of frontal skull bones. Radioimmunoassay analyses of serum revealed signs of hypogonadism: we found higher concentrations of LH (P = 0.05) and lower concentrations of T (P = 0.037) in bilateral cryptorchids as compared to intact bucks. There was no apparent impairment of spermatogenesis in the remaining testis of the unilateral cryptorchid deer. Unfortunately, no ectopic testes were so far recovered in cryptorchid deer. Surprisingly, only about half of deer with bilateral cryptorchism exhibited hypogonadic symptoms. In the other half of cryptorchid deer, the antlers appeared completely normal and the concentrations of LH or testosterone in the serum of several bucks were in the range of intact deer. It has been postulated that in some cryptorchid deer, ectopic testes can produce sufficient amount of testosterone, which prevents obvious antler and skull malformations, as well as reduces the compensatory elevation of LH. The possible causes of the hypogonadism resulting in cryptorchism and antler malformations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-252
Number of pages12
JournalZeitschrift fur Jagdwissenschaft
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Antler malformation
  • Black-tailed deer
  • Cryptorchism
  • Hypogonadism
  • Kodiak Island
  • LH
  • Testosterone


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