Field necropsies – tips for all shapes and sizes
Keywords:necropsy, equipment, gross lesions, diagnostics
Field necropsies provide important information regarding both individual animal and herd health. Adequate preparation, including following an agreed-upon plan with the producer, obtaining proper equipment, and collecting a thorough history, contributes significantly to successfully determining a diagnosis in a timely manner. Standard equipment includes proper outerwear, a necropsy knife, honing steel and an axe or reciprocating saw. Cattle should be placed left side down and prosected in a manner that allows the veterinarian to examine relevant organs in a consistent order. By developing a standard necropsy routine, the veterinarian is less likely to overlook organs with significant gross lesions. In the absence of distinctive gross lesions, submission of photographs or tissue samples to an experienced veterinarian or diagnostic laboratory may help with determination of the diagnosis or etiology.