General & Systemic Pathology
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4. When ingesta is found in the peritoneal cavity at postmortem examination; how can you tell whether the gastrointestinal tract was ruptured premortem or postmortem?
Rupture of the gastrointestinal tract is common in horses, cattle, and rabbits. When seen on post mortem exam it is important to determine whether the rupture occured antemortem or postmortem. If this occured postmortem the margins of the defect of the gastrointestinal wall are not hemorrhagic, and the peritoneal surfaces show no indication of inflammation.