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In practice
Volume 44 | Issue 2 (Mar 2022)

Performing postmortem examinations on small animals in first-opinion practice

In Pract. Mar 2022;44(2):77-88. 8 Refs
Alison Lee1, Danilo Gouveia Wasques
1 Irish Blue Cross, Inchicore, Dublin 8, Ireland.

Author Abstract

Background: Postmortem examination (PME) is often viewed as a specialised procedure, but it is listed as a Day One Competence by the RCVS. The ability to perform a PME confidently in first-opinion practice may allow veterinarians to confirm their clinical diagnoses, and provides an opportunity for self education and quality control. It is also an important tool for disease surveillance. Clear communication with the animal's owner and obtaining consent are essential before a PME is undertaken. Veterinarians should be aware of situations in which performing a PME may not be appropriate in first-opinion practice (eg, legal/forensic cases).

Aim of the article: This article discusses the considerations that must be made before undertaking a PME in small animals and outlines the steps involved in the procedure.

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Archives Highlights:
High-pressure injection of paint into the hand: A small injury with serious consequences.
High-pressure injection injury to the hand is a serious lesion threatening the limb. Several injected materials are involved, and paint is known to have the most serious consequences, with a high amputation rate. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are two important prognostic factors for a better outcome.
Role of autopsy imaging in veterinary forensic medicine: experiences in 39 cases.
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This case report discusses medial epiphyseal artery occlusion that resulted in osteonecrosis and collapse of the femoral head.
Human Injuries Associated with the Transport of Horses by Road.
There were 112/1067 (10.5%) handlers injured while preparing (13/112), loading (39/112), traveling (6/112), or unloading (33/112). Of these, 40% had multiple injury types, and 33% had several body regions affected. Hand injuries were most common (46%), followed by the foot (25%), arm (17%), and head or face (15%). Median recovery time was 7 days.
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In dogs, bone marrow aspirates are often collected from the proximal humerus or ilium. A special 14- to 18-gauge needle with stylet is placed into the bone marrow cavity, and cells are subsequently aspirated. These needles are designed to penetrate cortical bone without becoming obstructed. Other sites in dogs include the sternum, ribs, and proximal femur. Aspiration from the pelvis and femur is challenging, if the region contains abundant adipose tissue.

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