U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Veterinary Pathology 2023



U.S. government work


In September 2020, an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease occurred in captive reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and was associated with neurological signs and mortality. Four reindeer died or were euthanized after acute illness over a 12-day period. Affected reindeer displayed abnormal behavior, neurologic signs, lethargy, and/or lameness. The most consistent gross finding was dark red streaks throughout the adrenal gland cortices (4/4). One animal had acute hemorrhage involving the subcutis and skeletal muscles over the ventrolateral body wall and back, and abomasal serosa. Histologically, the most common lesions were adrenal gland cortical hemorrhage (4/4) with necrosis (3/4) and lymphoplasmacytic meningoencephalitis with gliosis, glial nodules, satellitosis, and nonsuppurative perivascular cuffing (4/4). The brain lesions were most frequent in the gray matter of the cerebrum, hippocampus, and thalamus but also involved the cerebellum and brainstem. Epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus serotype 6 was detected through PCR and sequencing of the spleen in all cases.