Tufts OpenCourseware
Canine Heart & Aorta - heart base tumor (Chemodectoma). Image courtesy of R. Jakowski.
Highlights of this Course

"Mortui vivos docent" or "The dead teach the living."

The images in this collection clearly illustrate this well-known phrase. Diagnostic pathology, as practiced in a veterinary teaching hospital, involves the generation and archival storage of tissue specimens in addition to written and photographic documentation of the lesions relating to a patients illness or cause of death. The maintenance of such documentation, especially the photographic images, play a major role in the educational process of veterinary students, residents, interns, and clinicians in various specialties.

Course Description

This photographic collection represents the collective experience of more than fifty years in veterinary diagnostic pathology. Most of the photographs were taken by me and other pathologists in the Section of Pathology at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine between 1982 and 2010 for the purpose of documenting lesions seen during autopsy examinations of hospital patients. Many of the images were initially made on 35 mm transparency film and required subsequent digitization. This allowed correction, when necessary, for exposure and/or color balance errors in the original photograph. As a result, the digitized image was a marked improvement of the original.

Where appropriate, to further delineate the gross lesion illustrated, we have included microscopic images of the entity.

Some images in the collection were generously donated by Dr. Irwin Leav, distinguished professor emeritus, Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.  Dr. Leav spent a substantial portion of his professional career at  the Tufts School of Medicine as well as the New England Medical Center, Boston, MA.  As a result, a few images in his collection are from human patients. I chose to leave these images in the collection since they illustrate the comparative aspect of many diseases common to both humans and animals.

A number of photographs in the collection were taken by pathology residents. Although not individually acknowledged, I am grateful to the busy residents who took time to prepare and photograph many of the specimen in the collections, often on very busy days in the autopsy room while contending with numerous other responsibilities associated with pathology residency training.

 How the Collection is Organized and Searching

To help those who may be looking for examples of specific diseases, the photographs in this collection are organized by both organ system and disease etiology. Primary organization is by organ system. Within each organ system the photographs are further sub-categorized by disease etiology.

 It is also possible to search the collection using keywords in the SEARCH window at the top of each page.  To limit your hits to this course, preface your search terms with “veterinary gross pathology” (using quotation marks around the phrase), then add your search term/s.

So, for example, to search for images of atypical interstitial pneumonia in bovines use the following search: “veterinary gross pathology” “atypical interstitial pneumonia” bovine .

To see all slides relating to ovines in the course, use the following search: “veterinary gross pathology” ovine.  


Please note that the course as presented here does not contain the full content of the course as taught at Tufts. The included content is based on material the Tufts faculty and instructors choose to include, as well as factors such as content preparation, software compatibility, and intellectual property and copyright restrictions.
Course Faculty
Tufts University Faculty
Professional & Post Graduate