Determination of anatomic landmarks for optimal placement in captive-bolt euthanasia of goats

Paul J. Plummer Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ames, IA 50011.
Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ames, IA 50011.

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 DVM, PhD
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Jan K. Shearer Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ames, IA 50011.

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 DVM, MS
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Katie E. Kleinhenz Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011.

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Leslie C. Shearer Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ames, IA 50011.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine the optimal anatomic site and directional aim of a penetrating captive bolt (PCB) for euthanasia of goats.

SAMPLE 8 skulls from horned and polled goat cadavers and 10 anesthetized horned and polled goats scheduled to be euthanized at the end of a teaching laboratory.

PROCEDURES Sagittal sections of cadaver skulls from 8 horned and polled goats were used to determine the ideal anatomic site and aiming of a PCB to maximize damage to the midbrain region of the brainstem for euthanasia. Anatomic sites for ideal placement and directional aiming were confirmed by use of 10 anesthetized horned and polled goats.

RESULTS Clinical observation and postmortem examination of the sagittal sections of skulls from the 10 anesthetized goats that were euthanized confirmed that perpendicular placement and firing of a PCB at the intersection of 2 lines, each drawn from the lateral canthus of 1 eye to the middle of the base of the opposite ear, resulted in consistent disruption of the midbrain and thalamus in all goats. Immediate cessation of breathing, followed by a loss of heartbeat in all 10 of the anesthetized goats, confirmed that use of this site consistently resulted in effective euthanasia.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Damage to the brainstem and key adjacent structures may be accomplished by firing a PCB perpendicular to the skull over the anatomic site identified at the intersection of 2 lines, each drawn from the lateral canthus of 1 eye to the middle of the base of the opposite ear.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine the optimal anatomic site and directional aim of a penetrating captive bolt (PCB) for euthanasia of goats.

SAMPLE 8 skulls from horned and polled goat cadavers and 10 anesthetized horned and polled goats scheduled to be euthanized at the end of a teaching laboratory.

PROCEDURES Sagittal sections of cadaver skulls from 8 horned and polled goats were used to determine the ideal anatomic site and aiming of a PCB to maximize damage to the midbrain region of the brainstem for euthanasia. Anatomic sites for ideal placement and directional aiming were confirmed by use of 10 anesthetized horned and polled goats.

RESULTS Clinical observation and postmortem examination of the sagittal sections of skulls from the 10 anesthetized goats that were euthanized confirmed that perpendicular placement and firing of a PCB at the intersection of 2 lines, each drawn from the lateral canthus of 1 eye to the middle of the base of the opposite ear, resulted in consistent disruption of the midbrain and thalamus in all goats. Immediate cessation of breathing, followed by a loss of heartbeat in all 10 of the anesthetized goats, confirmed that use of this site consistently resulted in effective euthanasia.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Damage to the brainstem and key adjacent structures may be accomplished by firing a PCB perpendicular to the skull over the anatomic site identified at the intersection of 2 lines, each drawn from the lateral canthus of 1 eye to the middle of the base of the opposite ear.

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