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Sci Justice. 2007 Dec;47(4):150-4. doi: 10.1016/j.scijus.2007.09.005.

Estimation of the post-mortem interval in beagle dogs.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Infectious Diseases, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA, UK.


Estimation of the time that has elapsed between death and the post-mortem examination of a body contributes to the investigation of death by defining the period during which death may have occurred. In a veterinary context, investigations involve a range of incidents including out-of-season shooting of game animals, poaching, death during transportation and cases of neglect or non-accidental injury of domestic animals. This study on dogs of the same breed, of similar weights and held under identical conditions, shows that a combination of rectal temperature, environmental temperature, gross pathology and histological changes can provide a scientifically based estimate of the post-mortem interval during the first 10 h following death, of up to one day, one to three days, three to seven days and one to three weeks.

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