Pathological Findings in Accidental Electrocution in a Horse (Case Report)

Adrian Florin Gal, Viorel Miclaus, Flaviu Tabaran, Marian Taulescu, Andras Nagy, Roxana Cora, Vasile Rus, Cornel Catoi


Recently, the veterinarians are dealing with a number of cases that require forensic expertise. Such a circumstance could be the accidental electrocution in animals, one of the causes of unnatural death. There is a scarcity with reference to the pathological findings in veterinary forensic medicine. In this paper, we present the main lesions that occurred in a horse with accidental electrocution that was presented for complete necropsy survey. A horse corpse was sent to the Pathology Department (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca, Romania) for a full medical survey. Preliminary results and external examination: the body was in rigor mortis; from the nasal cavities drained out reddish foam and in the mouth was observed the presence of ingested feed (straw) that was not chewed, suggesting a quick death. The findings detected after internal examination of the carcass were poor blood coagulability, haemorrhagic diathesis throughout the body, with haemorrhages of various sizes in different body regions (e.g., muscles of the withers, in the gluteal muscle, the mucosa of epiglottis, larynx, trachea, in the interstitium of the lung, and ecchymosis in the left kidney). Some other lesions detected were infarcts and haemorrhages in the fundic region of the stomach’s mucosa. In electrocution, haemorrhages are most often located in the respiratory tract, aspect observed in our case too. However, the diagnosis of electrocution has to corroborate the necropsy findings (which are not specific), with some other data such as the fulminant death and inspection of power source.


electrocution, forensic medicine, horse, accident

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