Sometimes, when pets pass away, it can come as a surprise. 

Maybe there was an illness beforehand, or maybe they seemed perfectly healthy. Either way, your time of grief is worsened by the lingering questions. 

This is where a necropsy can be valuable. Much like an autopsy for humans, a necropsy is the post-mortem examination of a deceased animal. It is performed by a pathologist who is tasked with determining the cause of death.

What Happens During a Necropsy

During a necropsy, the pathologist examines both the outside and the inside of the body. They analyze the major organs for signs of injury or disease. Sometimes tissue samples will be taken and viewed under a microscope. 

The primary goal of a necropsy is to discover the cause of death. It can also determine the extent of certain diseases, some of which can be transferred to humans. 

Pathologists must be extremely careful during the procedure. They risk contact with potentially infectious body fluids, preservative chemicals, and pieces of small objects within the body. 

Afterward, the body will be prepared according to the wishes of the owner. Cremation is the most common disposal method after a necropsy.

This is a highly invasive procedure, and you might have reservations due to personal or religious reasons. If you would prefer the body of your pet to be laid to rest peacefully, you can always refuse.

Why a Necropsy Might Be Needed

Your vet might recommend a necropsy for a variety of reasons. Typically, it is used to determine the cause of death in cases where there is no clear answer. 

It can also be necessary for legal reasons. For example, if your dog was hit by a car, a necropsy can assist in any legal consequences you choose to pursue.

Another situation in which a necropsy would be recommended is if your pet may have died from a dangerous disease. The vet will want to know exactly what caused the death so that living animals and humans can be protected from infection. The infected body may need to be disposed of in a specific way to prevent the spreading of the disease. 

Finally, a vet may be interested in a necropsy for scientific reasons. The results of the procedure can be used to research the disease and hypothesize treatment options, resulting in saved lives.

Necropsy Service for Pets in Frederick, MD

The death or illness of a pet is a difficult time to endure. Here at Old Farm Veterinary Hospital, we understand that you need answers in order to cope. That’s why we offer diagnostic testing for pets in Frederick, Maryland, and the surrounding areas. 

Call now to schedule an appointment.