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Julie A. Severidt, DVM
Dennis J. Madden, BS, Necropsy Laboratory Coordinator
Gary Mason, DVM, PhD, DACVP
Frank Garry, DVM, MS, DACVIM
Dan Gould, DVM, PhD, DACVP
Dairy Cow

One of the foremost concerns of dairy producers is the health of their herd. So when an animal dies unexpectedly, it becomes imperative to know the cause of death in case it affects the rest of the herd. The ideal situation would be to have a veterinarian readily available to perform any and all diagnostic work, including a necropsy if necessary. In reality though, it may be difficult to have a veterinarian available at the optimal time to perform a necropsy, which is immediately after the animal's death. In this case, the producer may be able to do a field necropsy in order to gather information and tissue samples for his veterinarian to evaluate, and assist the producer in the treatment of other animals if needed.

It is our hope that the information in this manual will enable the dairy producer to work more closely with his/her veterinarian.
It is not our intention to turn the producer into a veterinarian or diagnostician, but rather to put them in a position to collect samples correctly for a veterinarian to analyze and make a diagnosis.


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Integrated Livestock Management