All USMARC animals that die must undergo a postmortem examination. The GPVEC necropsy facility is used to perform these examinations on USMARC cattle and pig fatalities which provide an outstanding opportunity for students to develop their gross pathology skills. Based on case availability and adequate time within the schedule students may participate in necropsies regardless of the rotation or elective in which they are enrolled.
To take full advantage of the learning opportunities the necropsy sessions at GPVEC provide we highly recommend students familiarize themselves with our necropsy protocol which is shown below.
- Rubber boots and coveralls must be donned prior to accessing the necropsy floor during necropsy sessions. There will be no exceptions to this rule. Examination gloves are provided and eye protection is available upon request.
- Wet the floor with the large water hose. If the necropsy tables are to be used, wet them prior to use. Wetting the surfaces will aid in clean-up.
- Move the carcasses from the cooler to the necropsy floor. Use caution when walking in the cooler as the floor may be wet and very slick. Smaller animals may be carried or dragged by hand while larger animals will require the use of the hoist. The hoist should be placed directly over the carcass prior to lifting it to prevent unnecessary strain on the connection between the hoist and rail.
- Turn on the exhaust fan before opening the cadaver(s). Fan speed (high versus low) is up to the best judgement of the necropsy personnel. The fan should be left on at the conclusion of the necropsy session.
- All necropsies should be performed in a “no-loose-parts” fashion unless diagnostic sampling or teaching issues dictate removal of organs. This includes preservation of the hide of bovine carcasses whenever possible by making a single midline incision through the skin before reflecting the appropriate abdominal and thoracic skin and hind and fore limbs.
- All carcasses should be moved to the south end of the cooler following completion of necropsy. Small carcasses may be dragged or carried while larger animals must be carried by the main hoist into the cooler and then dragged to the south end of the cooler by the secondary hoist. Place all carcasses as far into the south end of the cooler as possible to insure adequate access to subsequent cases left in the north end and to allow additional carcasses to be placed in the south end without unnecessary strain on the secondary hoist.
- Park the main hoist in the necropsy area, not in the cooler.
- Prior to washing the floor, scoop up any large blood clots, tissue, or gastrointestinal contents and place on a carcass in the cooler or flush down the garbage disposal depending on the volume of debris. Do not wash large volumes of debris into the drain gutter as it will plug the drains.
- Wash down the necropsy floor, tables, and counter with the large hose using hot water. Use the squeegee to remove excess water from the tables and counter.
- Insure both drains in the gutter are fully functional and then turn on the flush system to clear the debris from the gutter.
- Clean all knives, axes, limb trimmers, saws, etc. with hot water and soap as necessary and return them to their storage location. Do not leave them on the counters.
- Prior to leaving the necropsy area rinse boots with hot water to remove as much visible debris as possible and then disinfect them by using the footbath and long handled brushes to scrub away any remaining debris.
- Turn off all lights including those in the necropsy area, entry area, and locker rooms.