Veterinary Forensic Medicine

VME 6575


This course will introduce the student to the application of veterinary medicine to the forensic sciences. Course topics will focus on the interpretations of injury patterns, cause of death, and mechanism of death. Upon completion of this course, the student will have basic knowledge of the pathological documentation required for crimes involving animals, including recognition of abuse, crime scene investigation, and interacting with the legal community.

Course Pre-Requisites / Co-Requisites: None

Instructors: Dr. Adam Stern and Dr. Jennifer Woolf


Module Topic
Week 1 Introduction to veterinary forensics
Week 2 Animal abuse, cruelty, and neglect
Week 3 Clinical veterinary forensic exam and report
Week 4 Forensic autopsy and report
Week 5 Decomposition and postmortem interval methods
Week 6 Neglect, animal hoarding, and puppy mills
Week 7 Animal fighting
Week 8 Non-accidental injury
Week 9 Blunt force trauma
Week 10 Sharp force trauma
Week 11 Projectile injuries
Week 12 Asphyxia and burns
Week 13 Animal sexual abuse
Week 14 Poisonings
Week 15 Expert witness testimony


There is no required textbook. All reading assignments will be posted with each module or will be made available in the course reserves.