Performing a necropsy5*
Necropsies are high-risk procedures because of potential contact with infectious body fluids, aerosols, and contaminated sharps. Nonessential persons should not be present.
- Personnel involved in or present at necropsies should wear:
- Protective outerwear (e.g., designated lab coat, designated scrubs)
- Disposable gloves
- Protective eye glasses/goggles or a full-face shield
- Cut-proof gloves (machine washable) when opening the body cavities of larger animals, for heavy cutting, and when working on cases of high occupational risk (e.g., rabies suspect)
- Additional precautions for respiratory protection (including environmental controls and face masks) should be employed if power equipment is used
- In-hospital necropsies should not be conducted on any animal suspected of being infected with a pathogen requiring biosafety precautions above level 2 (e.g. Chlamydophila psittaci, Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, rabies virus). Instead, the entire body (or head for rabies testing as required by the testing facility)
- should be submitted to an approved diagnostic laboratory.
- Ensure all requirements for shipment of biological samples are met (available from the laboratory in question).