Objective—To determine whether there was a
decline in the percentage of dogs undergoing necropsies
and whether there was substantial agreement or
disagreement between clinical and pathologic diagnoses.
Procedure—Medical records of hospitalized dogs
that died or were euthanatized and necropsied at a
veterinary teaching hospital in 1989 and 1999 were
reviewed. Clinical and pathologic diagnoses were
recorded and compared.
Results—There was a significant decline in the
necropsy rate of hospitalized dogs that died or were
euthanatized in 1999, compared with 1989. In both
1989 and 1999, there was disagreement between the
clinical and pathologic diagnoses in approximately a
third of the cases.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Despite
improved diagnostic methods, the accuracy of diagnosis
did not improve significantly in 1999, compared
with 1989. Necropsy is the best method to assess
overall diagnostic accuracy. Increased availability of
teaching funds may promote efforts to have necropsies
performed in veterinary teaching hospitals. ( J Am
Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:403–406)