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Russia. This individual died at his home from thromboembolism, he was found a week later, during that time his dog consumed his face. The phenomenon of postmortem animal interference with human bodies or their remains is a substantial part of the taphonomic processes a body undergoes after death and animal depredation occurring after death is routinely encountered in forensic pathology. Postmortem injuries can be inflicted by all kinds of animals, irrespective of their size or environmental origin, whether from land, sea, or air. The discrimination between antemortem injury versus postmortem artifacts generally presents no difficulties because of the total absence of hemorrhages and reddening in the tissue adjacent to the wound margins and the lack of any vital reaction under the microscope.

Fig.1 Animal predation by a dog.

In cases with postmortem animal predation, the psychological state of the animal is a possible reason for its behavior. One possible explanation for such behavior is that a pet will try to help an unconscious owner first by licking or nudging, but when this fails to produce any results the behavior of the animal can become more frantic and in a state of panic can lead to biting. The motive is not to attack the owner but is a kind of ‘‘displacement’’ behavior motivated by confusion and fear. The fact that the efforts of the animal will obviously be fruitless explains why this can easily escalate and culminate in excessive mutilation.

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