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The Latin word necropsy comes from the Greek νεκρός nekrós 'corpse' and -οψία -opsía 'view', which literally means "to see the dead". In other words, it is the orderly, complete and systematic examination of a corpse by dissecting the body cavities to obtain anatomical information about the cause, nature and extent of the macro- and microscopic lesions suffered by the organs during the life of the animal and, in this way, get to know the ultimate cause of death of it.

This study is carried out by a specialist veterinarian called pathologist who will record all the real pathological findings, which will have to differentiate from those alterations that are not.

These pathological lesions will have to be described in the most precise and concrete way possible in the necropsy protocol.