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Gibbon Necropsy Protocol
A necropsy examination is one of our most important, occasionally our only, and often our last opportunity to collect valuable diagnostic and archival samples after an animal dies. Listed below is a sample necropsy report and list of recommended tissues for routine collection during a necropsy examination. Please collect two sets of tissues for formalin fixation; submit one set to your pathologist and archive one permanently at your institution. Also, please request that your referral pathology lab or pathology department permanently archive the paraffin blocks and glass slides from these cases. If they are unable to perform this service, please send the blocks and slides to the Gibbon SSP Pathology Advisor (DO NOT forward formalin fixed tissues without first contacting the Pathology Advisor). While it may not always be possible to collect all of the recommended samples from each animal, the more consistently these goals can be achieved and reports generated the greater the chance that we will accurately identify diseases and disease trends in our collections. Please send copies of your completed gross and histologic necropsy reports (using your standard forms or the attached form with inclusion of results from ancillary diagnostics) to the SSP Gibbon Veterinary Advisor and Pathology Advisor listed below. The submitted information will be included in a year-end summary report for captive collections of gibbons in the United States and abroad that will be available on the AAZV website or from the Veterinary Advisor.
Veterinary Advisor: Pathology Advisor:
P.K. Robbins D McAloose
Veterinary Services Wildlife Conservation Society
1354 Old Globe Way 2300 Southern Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101 Bronx, NY 10460
Phone: 619-231-1515 x 4128 Phone: (718) 220-7105
Fax: Fax: (718) 220-7126
General Necropsy Information:
1) Tissue collection
a) Collect normal and abnormal tissue samples from all major organ systems
b) Tissue samples should be no thicker than 0.5 cm
c) Tissue: 10% neutral buffered formalin (ratio) = 1:10
i) Multiple tissue samples can be placed in a single bucket, but maintain ratio
d) Tissues can be saved or shipped in smaller volumes of formalin once adequately fixed
2) Specific tissue collection and fixation recommendations
a) Lymph nodes: Label as to location (e.g. mesenteric, mandibular) when grossly abnormal or in cases of suspect hematopoietic or lymphoid disease
b) Heart: Collect 3 longitudinal sections (minimum) such that atrium, ventricle and valve from right and left freewalls (include papillary muscle) and interventricular septum (include right AV valve and aortic outflow tract) are collected
c) Gastrointestinal tract: Open entire tract along its long axis. Collect 2-3 sections (3-4 cm long) from each part of tract. Label as to location when grossly abnormal or in cases of suspect gastrointestinal tract disease.
d) Endocrine organs: Collect organs from both the left and right sides. Longitudinally section adrenal gland to assess cortical and medullary tissue.
e) Brain: Fix whole if possible. Place in separate bucket to improve fixation if possible.
i) If only half brain can be collected, section brain longitudinally along midline
f) Eye: Fix whole (not punctured and do not inject with formalin)
g) Neonates and fetuses:
i) Collect umbilical stump and surrounding tissue.
ii) Evaluate for malformations (e.g. cleft palate, cardiovascular abnormalities).
iii) Evaluate lungs (e.g. float in formalin if breathing occurred; sink if not inflated (e.g. stillborn), diseased (e.g. pnemonia)).
iv) Collect fetal membranes if available.
3) Diagnostic samples
a) Infectious disease
i) Store at ?70C (to maintain DNA, proteins, RNA)
ii) Submit samples (e.g. culturettes, fresh tissue, feces) to internal or external labs as necessary for ancillary diagnostic testing
i) Store tissues or samples at ?20C
ii) In cases of suspected toxicity, contact a toxicologist for recommendations relative to tissue collection, preservation, test type and shipping instructions
iii) For generic toxicologic sample collection, collect two sets (1 in aluminum foil, 1 in plastic or glass) 5 grams each, of the following tissues
(1) Stomach contents
(2) Adipose tissue
Gross Necropsy Report ? General information
Clinical history and past treatments (add additional sheets for clinical history or ancillary diagnostics as necessary):
Tissue examination and collection checklist
GA = Gross appearance: NGL=no gross lesions; AB=abnormal; NE=not examined; NF=not found; NP=not present
FF = Tissue fixed in formalin: + = tissue collected and fixed
Histo = Tissue submitted for histology: + = tissues submitted
AD = Ancillary diagnostics: + = ancillary diagnostic performed (please include results w/report)
PHOTO = Photograph: + = PHOTO taken
-20/-70 = Frozen tissue temperature: please list storage temp as ?20, -70 or other temp if applicable
Please describe all abnormal gross findings, including dimensions (cm x cm x cm).
General condition (include assessment of body and post-mortem condition):
Musculoskeletal system (axial, appendicular, tympanic bullae, spinal column):
Body cavities (thoracic, abdominal, pericardial):
Hemolymphatic systems (tonsil, lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, bone marrow):
Respiratory system (nasal passages, trachea, lungs, air sacs):
Cardiovascular system (heart, vessels):
Digestive system (oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, intestinal tract, liver, gall bladder):
Urinary system (kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, urethra):
Endocrine system (adrenals, pancreas, thyroids & parathyroids, pituitary gland):
Nervous (brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves) and special senses (eyes, ears):
Gross Diagnoses (please add additional diagnoses if necessary):
Results of ancillary diagnostics:
Please attach/forward histology report to pathology advisor if available.
Anneke Moresco spent the last year doing post doctoral work at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in the Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW). Anneke and colleagues participated in a conservation and reproduction project for the black-footed cat in South Africa. See the spotlight HERE. Photo credit Dr. Alex Sliwa (curator at the Cologne zoo)