Review/Oorsig Volume 22, Issue 05 - Page 4

Oorsig/Review Abortion and Stillbirth Investigation Maximizing the use of the Fetus and Placenta PART FETUS DISSECTION AND SAMPLE COLLECTION 03 Dr Rick Last - BVSc; M.Med.Vet (Pathology) Specialist Veterinary Pathologist Introduction • • • • • • • Always follow the same routine of foetal examination. Choose a routine that suits you and your examination process can be in any order, just if you do it in the same order each and every time. This imprints the normal and facilitates recognition of abnormal. Open the carcass and perform an in-situ examination (body cavity fluids, heart failure, serous exudates, thymus size). Collection of microbiology samples including spleen smear (foetus and placenta). Thyroid gland examination. Internal organ examination. Open the skull and examine the brain. Collection of histopathology samples (foetus and placenta) – include extra liver for mineral analysis. Figure 1: Clear translucent fluid in the body cavities indicates in utero mortality < 48 hours previously or at abortion. Scan to view video In situ examination Examine the opened fetus carefully for the presence of free lying fluid in the various body cavities. The appearance of the fluid can give a good indication as to how recently in utero death occurred (figure 1 and figure 2). The presence of bloodstained fluid in the various body cavities indicates in utero death at least 2 to 3 days prior. Examine carefully for evidence of fetal heart failure which includes hydrothorax, ascites, hydropericardium, pale streaking of the myocard 4 Figure 2: Bloodstained fluid in the thoracic cavity. and a cobblestoned appearance to the liver (chronic cardiogenic hepatic congestion/cyanotic induration). This pathology of fetal heart failure is most frequently the consequence of underlying micronutrient imbalances and a useful indicator of possible feed related issues in the herd/flock. The gross myocardial lesions of myocarditis, myocardial degeneration/necrosis and myocardial mineralization appear very similar and are impossible to distinguish at the gross