Med. Weter. 72 (7), 453-457, 2016

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Piotr Listos, Renata Komsta, Wojciech Łopuszyński, Magdalena Gryzińska, Grzegorz Teresiński, Wojciech Chagowski, Grzegorz Buszewicz, Małgorzata Dylewska
Radiological and forensic veterinary analysis of gunshot cases in eastern Poland
A widespread availability of firearms makes animals the victims of both intentional and accidental shootings by man. In Poland, statistical surveys on gunshot cases in animals are not carried out. The present authors attempt to assess the frequency and character of gunshot injuries in animals on the basis of their observations from 2000-2009, taking into account changes in the law regulating the availability of firearms. The material involved 171 study protocols of patients whose radiological evaluation revealed the presence of bullets. The analysis covered different species of animals, taking into account the number of fatal and nonfatal injuries. Besides, gunshot wounds were classified according to their direct effect on the animals’ clinical status. During the radiographic assessment, the type of ammunition was also evaluated. The majority of gunshot victims were dogs (78.36%), followed by cats (15.20%), hares (2.34%) and roe deer (1.17%). The study also revealed the presence of bullets in the bodies of birds (2.92%) (one great egret, one golden eagle, one buzzard, one raven and one jackdaw). Additionally, the animals` medical history was obtained from the owners (especially of dogs and cats) to determine whether the owners were aware of gunshot wounds in their pets. The amendment of the general provisions regulating the availability of firearms has affected the character of gunshot injuries and the number of victims.
Key words: gunshot animal, forensic veterinary, radiological evaluation of animal