Liver Post Mortem

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The liver undergoes autolysis rapidly and can be advanced before it is obvious in other tissues. Post mortem changes must not be mistaken for pathological changes. The following are changes expected with post-mortem changes.


  • pallor
    • pale areas appear on the capsular surface as bacterial degradation begins
  • friability
  • greenish blue colour
    • the colour is because bacteria degrades blood pigment to hydrogen sulfide
    • particularly the liver adjacent to the intestines
  • brownish colour
  • bubbles of gas
    • produced by post-mortem bacterial growth
  • puttylike consistency


  • no cellular reaction
  • large number of gram positive bacilli present

NB: The proliferation of bacteria will be even greater in large animals during hot weather, especially cattle, in which fermentation in the adjacent rumen produces heat

In addition, pigs, as they are often well insulated by fat

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