Med. Weter. 78 (11), 567-576, 2022

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Postmortem diagnosis of gunshot injuries in great black cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) for forensic veterinary medicine
Veterinarians rarely have the opportunity to examine shot animals. This inexperience makes it difficult to assess such cases. Based on the example of postmortem examinations of shot cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo), the authors indicated the elements necessary for the proper diagnosis of gunshot wounds in birds. The study used mixed diagnostic techniques, including imaging diagnostics. Postmortem examinations of the corpses of 80 black cormorants obtained as a result of shooting with lead shot ammunition have been carried out. Autopsies and imaging examinations were performed. The results of the research were presented in the context of the needs of forensic veterinary medicine. Attention was paid to the characteristic anatomical changes caused by shotgun shells in the bodies of the birds. In addition, possible mistakes made during postmortem assessment of bird corpses were indicated. The method of using imaging techniques (X-ray and CT) in the diagnosis of gunshot wounds was presented. The possibility of using other imaging techniques, in doubtful cases that do not confirm gunshot wounds, was also indicated.
Keywords: gunshot wounds, birds, veterinary diagnostics, medical imaging, hunting, black cormorant