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VME 6577 – Veterinary Forensic Pathology in Practice

  • VME 6577 CREDITS: 3

    Veterinarians who perform postmortems as part of a crime investigation require a solid knowledge of pathology and postmortem skills. This course strengthens and broadens students’ knowledge of the pathologic basis of disease that forms the basis of understanding lesions due to natural and traumatic causes. The postmortem technique itself will be covered in depth. The course teaches astute observation, accurate description, and educated interpretation of the changes observed at postmortem, in addition to postmortem case management. Special topics included in the course are techniques for examination of the neck region in cases of suspected strangulation, cardiac examination, sampling for histopathology, sudden unexpected and peri-anesthetic deaths. Critical appraisal of the scientific literature will help veterinarians determine if journal articles or book chapters are based on sound scientific methods. Tips on optimizing your pathology cases with a pathologist are also discussed.


    DVM or equivalent degree holders only (terminal degree in Veterinary Medicine). Students who do not meet this prerequisite should take VME6576.


    Module Topic
    Week 1 The Diagnostic Process and Lesion Description
    Week 2 Interpreting Color in Pathology
    Week 3 Cellular Injury – Cellular Reactions and Necrosis
    Week 4 Hemostasis and Edema
    Week 5 Inflammation
    Week 6 Wound-healing
    Week 7 Mid-term examination
    Week 8 Critical Appraisal of the Scientific Literature
    Week 9 The postmortem I
    Week 10 The postmortem II
    Week 11 Special Techniques in Pathology
    Week 12 The Postmortem Report, Certainty in Pathology, Photography
    Week 13 Sudden Unexpected and Peri-anesthetic Death
    Week 14 Optimizing Your Pathology Results
    Week 15 Final examination

    Required Text:

    Pathologic basis of veterinary disease. Ed. McGavin MD, Zachary JF, 5th ed., Mosby, St. Louis, MO. 2011.

    At a Glance

    Key Dates