What is necropsy ?

Necropsy, also called autopsy, is a postmortem examination. Some people use necropsy to refer to examinations of non-humans, while use the term autopsy for human examinations. However, regardless of which term is used, postmortem examination provides information about a person or animal’s cause of death.

In animals, necropsy is usually done when a new disease is found; this helps pinpoint which animals carry the potentially dangerous disease and what a particular disease can do to the animals. In places where animal diseases are widespread, government require a necropsy on animals that die with no apparent reason. Scientists also use necropsy for research and explore the anatomy of dead animals, while others routinely perform a necropsy after testing animals with potential cures of diseases and determine if the treatment worked.

A typical necropsy requires the scientist or doctor to examine and record notes about the exterior of the body. Important notes include signs of trauma and other visible symptoms of diseases. Blood samples and other substances are also collected to draw tests. After completing the external examination, the body is cut open to inspect possible damages to the internal organs. Some necropsy involves collecting samples from two or more internal organs.

In humans, necropsy is done if the cause of death is unknown. Information gathered from a postmortem exam can determine how the person died. Even when the cause of death is known, some researchers still perform necropsy to determine other underlying factors, which may have triggered the particular cause of death, such as heart attack.

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