April 2019 the working group Badgers in Brabant reported the finding of a dead badger to the DWHC. The animal which seemed to have been in very poor condition was found in the city of Oss, the Province of North Brabant. It was subsequently collected to investigate the cause of death.
The badger was an adult male. It was very skinny and weighed only 4 kg whereas the usual weight of an adult badger varies from 9 to 17 kg. It had bad teeth, which is however common for an old animal. Furthermore the badger was infested with many ticks and lice.
The examinations showed various nodules in the lungs. Nodules in the lungs can be caused by different diseases, among which bovine tuberculosis. Therefore the badger was tested for this disease first. The test results were however negative, so tuberculosis could be excluded. Further microscopic research of long tissue showed the nodules to be tumors. The type of tumor was a squamous cell carcinoma. In addition the liver showed inflammation due to parasites (worms).
It further turned out the badger also suffered from severe pneumoconiosis. This lung disease is frequently observed in badgers. Usually they suffer from light to moderate pneumoconiosis, but this old badger was seriously affected.
This badger died from emaciation due to its bad teeth and its lung tumors.