This condition is caused by the spores of the fungus Pithomyces chartarum. The fungus grows on pasture in areas with high temperatures and high humidity (typically warmer North Island districts). Ingestion of fungal spores can cause acute damage to and blockage of the bile ducts. This results in liver damage, jaundice and photosensitive dermatitis.
Information on facial eczema is also available in a convenient DINZ Deer Fact sheet (November 2015). Download your own copy here >>