• When atmospheric air is prevented from entering the lungs, caused by the submersion of a body in water, it is called drowning.
  • Drowning is rarely employed as a means of mischievous killing of animals.
  • In the vetero-legal cases, the veterinarian may be asked to confirm whether the cause of death was drowning or if there were other factors responsible for the death of the animal.
  • By examination of the carcass it can be decided whether the animal was alive at the time of drowning or the dead animal was thrown into the water.

Signs suggestive of death by drowning

  • External surface¬†
    • Skin shows a corrugated appearance
    • If the animal was alive at the time of drowning, the injuries will have an inflammatory reaction.
  • Respiratory system
    • A fine white lathery froth is seen at the mouth, nostril, trachea and bronchi.
    • Lungs are edematous and distended like ballons.
    • Presence of water in the lungs.
  • Gastrointestinal tract
    • Large amount of water in the stomach containing objects present.
    • in the water at immersion (eg) Sand, Mud and Algae.
  • Early Mode of death - In drowning, death is due to Asphyxia, shock and Fatal injuries.
  • Carcass should be examined carefully for death due to other causes like poisoning, violence, Disease. When the signs of death by drowning are absent.
  • Typical signs of drowning are seen in the body only if it is removed from water within few hours after death and examined immediately. These signs are modified with the time and may disappear all together when the body is removed from after putrification.
Last modified: Tuesday, 5 June 2012, 9:52 AM