Does anyone know what organ I am looking at here, and what animal it belongs to? Hint: the patient was only one week old, died of a process sadly very common to their species and the answer involves salt.
While post mortem examinations are always one of the more challenging parts of veterinary medicine, in many cases they provide an essential piece of the puzzle as to determining the cause of death. Having this information is of integral importance in preventing similar process occurring in other animals - be it stopping an infectious disease outbreak, a poisoning, learning about a genetic disorder, or discovering a rare cancer in a particular species. This is especially true of wildlife medicine where we often may not have a lot of previous "work up" on the animal to provide clues as to what might have happened (e.g. Blood work, X-rays, biopsies...).