The detection of pentobarbital in euthanized domestic dogs

  • Jessica A Hvozdovich, MS William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida, 4800 SW 35th Drive, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
  • Jason H Byrd, PhD DABFE William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida, 4800 SW 35th Drive, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
  • Lisa L Farina, DVM DACVP College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, 2015 SW 16th Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
  • Bruce A Goldberger, PhD FABFT William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida, 4800 SW 35th Drive, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
Keywords: veterinary forensic sciences, pentobarbital, GC-NPD, euthanasia, toxicology, pathology

Abstract

This preliminary study examined the postmortem distribution of pentobarbital in the remains of three domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) after intravenous administration of pentobarbital sodium to determine optimal sampling practices for veterinary forensic casework. It was thought that pentobarbital would be absent in many traditional toxicological samples, such as bile and urine, because of the brief period between administration and death. However, all samples tested via gas chromatography, coupled with a nitrogen–phosphorus detector, contained quantifiable levels of pentobarbital. These initial results suggest that when the Florida Animal Control Association’s recommended method of euthanasia is used in healthy individuals, pentobarbital extensively distributes throughout the body.

Published
2019-12-24
Section
Pathology