Necropsy (Ne'crop-sy) is the act of examination of an animal after death. This is often confused with Autopsy (Au'top-sy) from the Latin derivation "examination of one-self after death". This term is reserved for use only in humans.
When one of our beloved pet birds die, it is a great loss, but sometimes the reason for the death can give insight, closure and often save the life of another pet or even a human living in the same home. A necropsy at The BIRD Clinic is a full external and internal visual examination of all the bird's organs, which will give an indication as to the cause of death. Many times histopathology, cytology, virology, microbiology, toxicology, and sometimes hematology need to be utilized to further discover the cause of death when the etiology (cause) may not be visible to the naked eye.
The BIRD Clinic's recommends the following to acquire the most valid information from a necropsy:
As soon as the deceased bird is discovered:
1. Place the bird's body in a ziplock bag.
2. Add 1/8-1/4 tsp (few drops) of water
3. Remove as much air from the bag as possible and seal.
4. Place the bag in the refrigerator, NOT THE FREEZER, for storage.
5. Bring the bird to The BIRD Clinic preferably within 24 hours. If it is later, a necropsy can still be done, but some organ systems may not be of diagnostic value.
Many times, an owner believes the cause of death is one etiology when a necropsy uncovers an entirely different etiology. A necropsy is not only a step to explain the cause of death, but also to help prevent a similar situation from repeating itself in the future.