Marine mammal necropsy : an introductory guide for stranding responders and field biologists

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Pugliares, Katie R.
Bogomolni, Andrea L.
Touhey, Kathleen M.
Herzig, Sarah M.
Harry, Charles T.
Moore, Michael J.
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Marine mammals
Veterinary autopsy
This necropsy manual is designed to establish a base level of profiency in marine mammal necropsy techniques. It is written for stranding network members who do not have a formal pathobiological training and have limited knowledge of anatomy. Anatomical and pathological jargon has been kept to a minimum. This manual is divided into six sections: preliminary data, sample management, pinniped, small ceetacean, large whale (at sea and on the beach), and multiple appendices (A-H). A well-illustrated, carefully written gross necropsy report is essential to an adequate diagnostic investigation. Gross reports with significant detail and description tend to engender useful histopathological findings. A sample blank gross necropsy report and guidelines in writing a report can be found in Appendices A & B. Overall, this guide aims to lead the enquiring mind through the necessary steps to produce such reports. While this manual focuses on process and interpretation, it is important to understand that the gross necropsy is primarily about making detailed, descriptive observations without bias as to possible etiology. The necropsy should establish a list of differential diagnoses and the sampling be directed by an attempt to discriminate between them.
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Pugliares, K. R., Bogomolni, A., Touhey, K. M., Herzig, S. M., Harry, C. T., & Moore, M. J. (2007). Marine mammal necropsy: an introductory guide for stranding responders and field biologists. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
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