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10 Field Necropsy Of Ruminants

There are many ways to do a necropsy and procedures must be adapted to the conditions operating at the time. The method described here takes into consideration the following conditions:

  • Gut tissues may have to be examined early in the necropsy to minimize postmortem changes especially if enteric disease is suspected.
  • Core body temperature should be measured early in the necropsy especially if hyperthermia is suspected.
  • The carcass may be lying in a deep layer of liquid manure with risk of gross contamination of organs and samples and loss of dropped equipment.
  • The carcass must eventually be fully dismembered for ease of disposal and it is unnecessary to salvage the hide.

The necropsy is conducted with the left side down so that the rumen lies under the abdominal viscera. If the animal is found right side down, roll it over if pen conditions permit. If it is large, get assistance if available. Otherwise do it right side down.