Toxic Smoke Inhalation in Fire Victim Dogs

A. W. Stern, R. J. Lewis, K. S. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fifteen dogs were found dead in a house that was on fire. Several of these dogs were partially burned. Four dogs were submitted for postmortem examination, 2 of which were determined to have died prior to the fire. Of the 2 submitted fire fatalities, only 1 dog had burns on its body (dorsum and right side of body). Internally, both dogs had soot deposits mixed with mucus in the larynx, trachea, and primary bronchi. Microscopically, soot was identified within both airways and alveolar spaces. There were no macroscopic or microscopic indications of vital heat exposure. High levels of carboxyhemoglobin were detected in the 2 dogs tested. The findings in this case support the use of postmortem examination and toxicology testing to allow for determination of vital reaction to heat and fire fumes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1165-1167
Number of pages3
JournalVeterinary pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 8 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • carboxyhemoglobin
  • forensic pathology
  • respiratory pathology
  • smoke inhalation
  • vitality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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