Canine Bite-Mark Evidence in Veterinary Necropsy: Case Studies Featuring the Bite-Mark Examination

Adrian Florin GAL, Roxana CORA, Flaviu TᾸBᾸRAN, Andras NAGY, Cornel CǍTOI


Forensic veterinary medicine tends to gain increasing importance in veterinary pathology, the number of such cases being still limited. The paper describes cases with multiple cutaneous wounds, with emphasis on bite-mark analysis. The material was represented by corpses (deer and dogs) brought by local authorities to Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca (Romania), along with preliminary reports issued by the competent organs. A complete medicolegal survey was done. The cases analyzed by us displayed numerous usually symmetrical (opposed) wounds, with angular margins and elongated aspect (somehow specific to bite wounds). All cases assessed presented laceration of the skin from the subcutaneous tissue, rupture of muscle and (in some cases) perforation of internal organs. The features of the bite-marks described were typical for carnivores. Depending on the species involved, the topography of lesions varied. In deer, the ventrolateral area of the neck and the lumbar/dorsal region were more commonly affected. The distribution suggests the hunting instinct of carnivores by trying to induce suffocation of the prey. In the analyzed dog corpses, the most affected areas were the auricular, limbs, sternal region, abdominal region. Investigation of bite-marks is an evolving field of forensic veterinary science and remains a provocation for veterinary pathologists.


dog; deer; forensic; skin; bite-mark

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