William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

Anatomic Pathology

Anatomic Pathology Services - Clinical Activities & Procedures

The Necropsy Service pathologists conduct post-mortem examinations on VMTH patients while teaching veterinary students necropsy techniques and training residents in pathology. Each animal is carefully examined externally for any abnormalities and then each organ is examined for evidence of disease. Tissue samples are preserved for microscopic examination, and other samples are taken to detect bacteria, fungi, viruses or toxins if infection or toxicity is suspected. The preserved tissues are examined microscopically by the pathologist and resident to detect disease conditions. Then a final necropsy report with all gross and microscopic findings, as well as other test results, is prepared. The final necropsy report will consist of a list of all disease conditions detected and the pathologist's opinion as to which conditions were important to the health of the animal and would account for the signs of disease in the animal before death.

The Biopsy Service pathologists examine tissues removed from live animals during surgery or endoscopy to determine the disease conditions present. The tissues are preserved and then prepared for microscopic examination. The pathologist and resident examine the tissues microscopically and prepare a biopsy report that includes a description of their findings and their interpretation as to what disease condition these findings represent. These findings guide the clinician's decision for appropriate treatment for the animal and are the basis for the prognosis given to the client.