Determination of carcass cooling rates using nomograms – a pilot study

https://doi.org/10.17221/83/2018-VETMEDCitation:Vargova G., Takacova D., Bodnarova L. (2019): Determination of carcass cooling rates using nomograms – a pilot study. Veterinarni Medicina, 64: 78-83.
download PDF

Knowing the time of death of animals can be helpful for the forensic determination of death due to cruelty. We aimed to determine the time of death of companion animal carcasses, euthanised at an outpatient’s department (Small Animal Clinic) of the University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Kosice. The reasons for euthanasia included age of animals, medical state or incurable disease which affected the quality of life. Animal carcasses (33 bodies) were divided into seven groups according to their weight, species and environmental conditions into which they were placed, which were chosen so as to imitate real conditions under which dead animals could be found. We continually measured body temperature until it dropped down to ambient temperature. The post-mortem cooling curve revealed dependencies related to the temperature drop, the weight of carcasses, the place where animals rested and the internal and external environment. Results from the cooling process and obtained time of death may be deduced from a nomogram in field practice.

References:
Abdulazeez IO, Noordin MM (2010): Algor mortis pattern in dogs, a guide to estimation of time of death. Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science 33, 105–111.
 
Al-Alousi Louay M. (2002): A study of the shape of the post-mortem cooling curve in 117 forensic cases. Forensic Science International, 125, 237-244 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0379-0738(01)00651-X
 
al-Alousi Louay M., Anderson Robert A., Worster Diana M., Land David V. (2002): Factors influencing the precision of estimating the postmortem interval using the triple-exponential formulae (TEF). Forensic Science International, 125, 231-236 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0379-0738(01)00652-1
 
Brooks J. W. (2016): Postmortem Changes in Animal Carcasses and Estimation of the Postmortem Interval. Veterinary Pathology, 53, 929-940 https://doi.org/10.1177/0300985816629720
 
Craig A (2010): Essential Mathematics and Statistics for Forensic Science. Wiley-Blackwell Ltd. 83 p.
 
DiMaio VJ, DiMaio D (2001): Forensic Pathology. 2nd edn. CRC Press, New York. 592 pp.
 
Erlandsson M, Munro R (2007): Estimation of the post-mortem interval in beagle dogs. Science & Justice 47, 150–154.
 
Gerdin JA, McDonough SP (2013): Forensic pathology of companion animal abuse and neglect. Veterinary Pathology 50, 944–1006.
 
Gonder FC (2008): Wildlife decomposition analyses for time of death determination parameters to carnivores. Field Forensics, Self-published, 1–4.
 
Henßge C., Madea B. (2004): Estimation of the time since death in the early post-mortem period. Forensic Science International, 144, 167-175 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2004.04.051
 
Merck M (ed.) (2007): Time of death. In: Veterinary Forensics Animal Cruelty Investigation. 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell Inc. 241–263.
 
Merck M, Miller D (2013): Postmortem changes and the postmortem interval. In: Merck M (ed.): Veterinary Forensics: Animal Cruelty Investigations. 2nd edn. John Wiley, Ames. 255–271.
 
Munro R., Munro H.M.C. (2013): Some Challenges in Forensic Veterinary Pathology: A Review. Journal of Comparative Pathology, 149, 57-73 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcpa.2012.10.001
 
Perper J (2006): Time of death and changes after death. In: Spitz WU, Spitz DJ (eds): Medicolegal Investigation of Death: Guidelines for the Application of Pathology to Crime Investigation. Charles C Thomas, Springfield. 87–183.
 
Proctor Keith W., Kelch William J., New, Jr. John C. (2009): Estimating the Time of Death in Domestic Canines. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 54, 1433-1437 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1556-4029.2009.01156.x
 
Rogers ER, Stern AW (eds) (2018): Veterinary Forensics. Investigation, Evidence Collection, and Expert Testimony. CRC Press, Boca Raton. 226–239.
 
Shapiro HA (1965): The post-mortem temperature plateau. Journal of Forensic Medicine 12, 137–141.
 
Smart Jimmy L., Kaliszan Michał (2012): The post mortem temperature plateau and its role in the estimation of time of death. A review. Legal Medicine, 14, 55-62 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.legalmed.2011.11.002
 
download PDF

© 2019 Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences