Equine CSI: Solving the Mystery of Death Through Necropsies

You’ve probably seen the show CSI and its spin-offs on TV. Maybe you marvelled at the pathologist who can examine the corpse on the autopsy table and immediately determine that the cause of death was infection by a rare South American parasite. The other cast members then use this information to arrest the suspect (who had just returned from a holiday in Brazil), and it’s all wrapped up by the end of the hour. Conducting an autopsy on a horse (or necropsy, as it is usually called when performing a post-mortem examination on an animal) isn’t quite the same. However, just like the pathologist autopsying a human body, the veterinary pathologist is seeking to answer questions about the cause and circumstances of death. Determining Cause and Risk Dr. Chris Wojnarowicz is a veterinary pathologist with Prairie Diagnostic Services in Saskatoon, SK. Most of the animals he examines are food animals…

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