Course code Vete4100

Credit points 4.50

Animal Postmortem Necropsies

Additional course materials Vete4100_St.k.programmas izvērsts saturs.pdf

Total Hours in Course120

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes60

Independent study hours60

Date of course confirmation20.03.2013

Responsible UnitPreclinical Institute

Course developer


Inga Pigiņka-Vjačeslavova

Dr. med. vet.

Prior knowledge

Vete2013, Anatomy of the Domestic Animals I

Vete2014, Anatomy of the Domestic Animals II

Vete2015, Anatomy of the Domestic Animals III

Vete3040, Special Pathology I

Vete3041, Special Pathology II

Vete4034, Cytology, Histology and Embryology II

Vete4035, Cytology, Histology and Embryology I

Vete4036, General Pathology I

Vete4037, General Pathology II

Vete6022, Physiology I

Vete6023, Physiology II

Replaced course

VeteB037 [GVETB037] Animal Postmortem Necropsies

Course abstract

The aim of this practical course is to teach students to perform postmortem necropsies in competent, systematic and safe manner, to collect tissues for further diagnostic tests, to interpret necropsy findings and to write necropsy report. During necropsies students learn to distinguish lesions from post-mortem changes, explain causes of lesions, and determine main disease process and cause of death. In necropsy reports students describe lesions, formulate morphological diagnoses, analyse pathogenesis of lesions in context with clinical and laboratory abnormalities and make a conclusion in regards to cause of death.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge: students should know and understand rules for personal and environmental safety, principles of necropsy technique and organ examination, and types of tissue changes – 1tests. Skills: students should be able independently perform post-mortem examination of a dog, cat, pig, calf, chicken and horse or a cow in technically correct and safe manner; recognize and describe various types of changes (post mortal, agonal, incidental changes and lesions associated with disease); select appropriate samples for further diagnostic tests; search, summarize and analyse information in veterinary literature relevant to necropsy cases under investigation–practical works. Competency: students should be able to formulate morphological diagnoses based on the lesion appearance as well as to explain (verbally and in writing) pathogenesis taking into account clinical information and post-mortem condition. Students have to perform thorough analysis of necropsied animals and, using information in the literature, draw conclusions about lesion pathogenesis and cause of death –KEGA work.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Theoretical lesson: necropsy techniques, safety rules during necropsy, creation of necropsy protocol and theoretical review of the common diseases for different species of animals – 3 h.
2. Practical lesson: demonstration of the necropsy and work rules in the necropsy hall – 3h.
3. Practical lessons: necropsies is done by students with the supervision of teacher and write necropsy reports – 36 h.
4. Theoretical lessons: defense of necropsy cases and discussions – 12 h.
5. Practical lesson: test necropsy for the mark – 3h.

6. Theoretical lesson: CECA defense – 3h.

Requirements for awarding credit points

To get the final grade of the study course, if:
1. Successful passed test necropsy.
2. Successful passed CECA work, which include necropsy report.
3. Successful passed necropsy cases.
4. It is obligate to attend in practical works. Only 1 time practical work can be skiped without excuses. Sick leave is acceptable for skip lesson. Skiped lesson must work out. If classes are delayed by more than 30% due to illness, the course must be repeated.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Clinical and Epidemiological Case Analysis (CECA) work is about one of necropsy cases, which the student use in-depth literature analysis. The work consists of the following chapters: practical part (necropsy report), theoretical part (detailed description of the disease, pathogenesis, analysis of the latest research), list of used literature and annex (pictures and tables). Volume at least 10 p. After submitting the written form of the paper, it should be presented orally with an illustrated PowerPoint presentation of 10 minutes, expressing the most relevant information on subject, answering questions and justifying the information provided. The work must be submitted and defended within the deadline set by the course supervisor. Necropsy case presentation, test necropsy and CECA work are evaluated in accordance with LLU Study Regulations system.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Necropsy cases, test necropsy and CECA work are evaluated in accordance with the criteria of the 10 point system scale indicated in the LLU Study Regulations.
Necropsy report could be submitted 3 times considering teacher corrections. The necropsy report must be submitted in 1 week after necropsy and repeatedly after teacher corrections.
The final mark is formed from total number of points (maximum 60p.), it includes the work of CECA (min. 15p., max. 30p.), the average number of points for necropsy cases presentation (min. 4p., max. 10p.) and test necropsy (min. 8p., max. 20p.). The final mark is indicated in the LLU Study Regulations:
60 p.- 56 p. = 10 mark
55 p.- 50 p. = 9 mark
49 p.- 45 p. = 8 mark
44 p.- 40 p. = 7 mark
39 p.- 35 p. = 6 mark
34 p.- 30 p. = 5 mark
29 p.- 25 p. = 4 mark

Compulsory reading

1. Maxie G. M. Pathology of Domestic Animals. Volume 3. 6th ed. Edinburgh ... [etc.]: Elsevier Saunders, 2007. 2456 p. 2. Zachary J. F., McGavin M. D. Pathological basis of veterinary disease. 5th ed. USA: Elsevier, 2012. 1344 p. 3. King J.R. The Necropsy Book. Independent Publisher, 2013. 217 p. 4. Parčinskis O. Lauksaimniecības dzīvnieku slimību morfoloģiskās diagnostikas pamati. Rīga: Zvaigzne, 1988. 164 lpp.

Further reading

1. Taibo A. Veterinary Medical Terminology Guide and Workbook. USA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2019. 712 p. 2. IVIS. Pieejams: 3. Merck Veterinary Manual. Pieejams:

Periodicals and other sources

1. Journal of Veterinary Pathology. ISSN: 0300-9858. 2. Journal of Comparative Pathology. ISSN 0021-9975. 3. Amerikas veterināro patologu asociācijas interneta lapa. Pieejams: 4. Eiropas veterināro patologu asociācijas interneta lapa.
Pieejams:, sadaļa “Histology slide database”.


Compulsory course of study programme Veterinary medicine