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  #1  
Old 12-05-2009, 10:01 PM
Helix1047 Helix1047 is offline
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Why do mammals bleed out of the mouth and nose after death ?

When things die (assuming a lack of traumatic injury), they bleed from their mouth and nose.

Where is this blood coming from?

Is it ruptured capillaries in the pharynx? Bleeding within the GI tract?

Why does this happen?

I see it in people and animals, mostly mammals, I haven't seen it in birds reptiles and fish.


Is this a uniquely mammalian phenomenon?
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2009, 10:50 PM
ToeJam ToeJam is offline
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When does this happen?
Like right away or after a few hours?

I wasn't really aware of this phenomenon. That's kinda interesting.
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2009, 11:29 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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Can you provide some evidence that this happens regularly, because I'm astounded that I've never witnessed such a thing. I've seen a lot of dead mammals in my life, certainly hundreds, possibly thousands. And they've died in all sorts of ways: car accidents, bullet wounds, drowning, poison, starvation, disease and thirst. And the only time I've seen a dead animal bleed from the mouth or nose is as a result of either head of chest trauma. Even head wounds don't usually result in blood form the mouth/nose.

Can you possibly provide more details? What were these non-traumatic death that you witnessed? How did the animal/person actually die? That will probably help explain what you saw.
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2009, 11:46 PM
beo.thuck beo.thuck is offline
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If when human blood hydraulics cease to function the head is in the lowest position.. The body is now a bag with holes in it (ears, nostrils, mouth) and the fluid leaks out.
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  #5  
Old 12-06-2009, 12:06 AM
ToeJam ToeJam is offline
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Originally Posted by beo.thuck View Post
If when human blood hydraulics cease to function the head is in the lowest position.. The body is now a bag with holes in it (ears, nostrils, mouth) and the fluid leaks out.
Maybe if they were upside down... but what about people who die standing/sitting up?
I don't think they just leak out their arses.

The body is just a "bag with holes in it" isn't really quite the situation either. It's more like a bag filled with tubes filled with fluids. Each of the tubes themselves are leaky yes, but it's not like there's a gushing of fluids that are just going to come pouring out of the body. I don't really think your statement is quite correct.

Again, I gotta go with the "need more information" request as I think more information is needed other than "non-trauma" - cardiac failure? Stroke? Choking to Death? Respiratory failure? There's lots of non-traumatic reasons for people to die, and not all of them will cause the leaking of blood out the nose/mouth specifically. Though it has been done quite a bit in Hollywood films and such, but usually that's for dramatic effect and to better show "he's dead, Jim" rather than just having the body gasp and wheeze and then ceasing to breath any more.
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  #6  
Old 12-06-2009, 12:11 AM
Helix1047 Helix1047 is offline
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Originally Posted by beo.thuck View Post
If when human blood hydraulics cease to function the head is in the lowest position.. The body is now a bag with holes in it (ears, nostrils, mouth) and the fluid leaks out.
This is possible, but there needs to be some vessel breakage for this to happen right?

Some examples... Well, the mice and rats that we feed to our snakes often have blood on the snout area or bleed from the mouth and nose when thawed.

I worked at a museum at one point, and the animal carcasses we got from beavers, to raccoons and other things often (but not always) have blood coming out of the nose. We got in a moose at one point that had collapsed and died in some one's yard, and as it worked on it blood pooled out of it's nose and mouth.

Ive had a few hamsters that died of natural causes that did this. In people, Ive seen it in cardiac failure and stroke.


These cant all be head and chest trauma.

I don't know how regularly it happens, but it happens regularly enough for me to notice it.






Ive read forensics reports that uses the blood flow direction from the nose and mouth to determine the position of the head at death.

Im not sure how soon after death it happens. I had a turtle that died that began bleeding from the mouth overnight.




Blake: Do you work in some sort of wildlife management or zoo type thing to see thousands of animals die? I don't think it's anywhere near the moment of death, probably hours later.


Im not talking about some huge outpouring, just the bloody muzzle effect that you see.



My question is why does this happen? and where is the blood coming from?

Last edited by Helix1047; 12-06-2009 at 12:13 AM..
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  #7  
Old 12-06-2009, 12:17 AM
beo.thuck beo.thuck is offline
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I'm no expert but I saw a corpse once where the guy overdosed on the toilet, then fell on his head. His head was the lowest point in the final position. When I saw him he had been there for a few days and his face was dark purple - full of blood. His arm, which was higher up, was completely pale. There was large (3 foot across?) pool of dried cracked blood on the floor and it had obviously come out the nostrils mainly. There was no head trauma.

Also, when people are strangled, like in The Godfather, don't they shi*?

I'm thinking its a gravity thing, but again I'm no expert.

When animals get their lungs pierced they spit blood out the mouth and nose for obvious reasons but I don't think that's what OPs asking about.
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2009, 12:20 AM
beo.thuck beo.thuck is offline
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I don't think hanged people bleed from the ears, nose, mouth..
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  #9  
Old 12-06-2009, 12:23 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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For frozen animals, at least, it's simple enough: We're mostly water, and water expands when it freezes. That'd be enough to burst a bunch of capillaries.
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  #10  
Old 12-06-2009, 12:23 AM
Helix1047 Helix1047 is offline
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Originally Posted by beo.thuck View Post
I'm no expert but I saw a corpse once where the guy overdosed on the toilet, then fell on his head. His head was the lowest point in the final position. When I saw him he had been there for a few days and his face was dark purple - full of blood. His arm, which was higher up, was completely pale. There was large (3 foot across?) pool of dried cracked blood on the floor and it had obviously come out the nostrils mainly. There was no head trauma.

Also, when people are strangled, like in The Godfather, don't they shi*?

I'm thinking its a gravity thing, but again I'm no expert.

When animals get their lungs pierced they spit blood out the mouth and nose for obvious reasons but I don't think that's what OPs asking about.
Blood pooling to the lowest point after death is probably a factor. Is this becasue of vessel rupture or GI tract bleeding, or some other cause ?



Quote:
For frozen animals, at least, it's simple enough: We're mostly water, and water expands when it freezes. That'd be enough to burst a bunch of capillaries.
Good point.

Last edited by Helix1047; 12-06-2009 at 12:25 AM..
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  #11  
Old 12-06-2009, 12:31 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Trauma to the respiratory system or similar will certainly cause it - that video of that Iranian woman shot in the recent protests shows lots of blood coming out of her nose and mouth. I believe she was shot in the chest.
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  #12  
Old 12-06-2009, 12:33 AM
Helix1047 Helix1047 is offline
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There was large (3 foot across?) pool of dried cracked blood on the floor and it had obviously come out the nostrils mainly. There was no head trauma.
That's exactly what Im talking about.

Since there's no trauma, why does that happen?

Ive never see it to that degree in people, but I see it in animals.
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  #13  
Old 12-06-2009, 12:36 AM
Blake Blake is offline
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Originally Posted by Helix1047 View Post
Some examples... Well, the mice and rats that we feed to our snakes often have blood on the snout area or bleed from the mouth and nose when thawed.
When I was tending the animal house at my university, we killed mice by use of an "occipital crush", which is a fancy way of saying we hit them over the back of the head with an iron bar. Of course mice killed in this fashion bled from the mouth. This is hardly a non-traumatic death

Quote:
I worked at a museum at one point, and the animal carcasses we got from beavers, to raccoons and other things often (but not always) have blood coming out of the nose. We got in a moose at one point that had collapsed and died in some one's yard, and as it worked on it blood pooled out of it's nose and mouth.

But you have no way of knowing how these animals were killed. The most common source of teaching materials for our students is roadkill. Your animals could have been collected in the same way, or they may have been killed in deadfall traps, or shot.

Do you actually know how any of these animals died? When you said there was a non-traumatic death, I assumed that meant you were present at the time of death, rather than receiving frozen/pickled corpses that could be years old and could have died in almost any way.


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Ive had a few hamsters that died of natural causes that did this.
What was the natural cause? Lungworms? Tuberculosis? Did you have a vet perform an autopsy?

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These cant all be head and chest trauma.
Al the animal examples except the hamster could very well be. You just don't know how the died.

Quote:
Ive read forensics reports that uses the blood flow direction from the nose and mouth to determine the position of the head at death.
No doubt about that, but it relies on the fact that such blood flow exists. Where it doesn't exist it can;t be used.


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I had a turtle that died that began bleeding from the mouth overnight.
Again what did it die of? Turtles, especially wild caught turtles, are very prone to lungworms due to their diet. Lungworm infection causes, unsurpisingly, bleeding from the lungs.

Quote:
Blake: Do you work in some sort of wildlife management or zoo type thing to see thousands of animals die?
I've grown up in the country and worked most of my life there. I've also worked pest control and crop protection amongst other many jobs. I used to be a keen hunter and still am a keen naturalist. Most country people are going to see a dozen or so animals die every year on average, which over a few decades adds up to hundreds of animals. Add in the hunting and job related deaths and I would make a WAG that I've seen 50 mammal deaths a year on average.

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Im not talking about some huge outpouring, just the bloody muzzle effect that you see.
I've honestly never noticed it in the absence of trauma.


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My question is why does this happen? and where is the blood coming from?
At this stage my question is whether it is happening at all in the absence of trauma.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that your museum specimens and feed mice weren't obtained by someone following animals around until they died of old age. Somebody killed those animals. The reason for the bleeding is probably revealed in how they were killed.
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  #14  
Old 12-06-2009, 12:47 AM
Helix1047 Helix1047 is offline
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The feeder mice were killed humanly via asphyxiation or freezing.

The hamsters died from overheating.

The turtle (was not wild, it was a pet) died from being pulled out of hibernation and couldn't tolerate the temperature change.

The man mentioned above died from overdose.

The specimens we got, some were road kill and it's plausible, but alot were from the local zoo too, and those were documented natrual deaths. Theyre not years old as you say, nor are they pickled. Invariably they were a few days old at most, or prefrozen.





Your expertise is impressive though.
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  #15  
Old 12-06-2009, 01:16 AM
Blake Blake is offline
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Originally Posted by Helix1047 View Post
The feeder mice were killed humanly via asphyxiation or freezing.
Asphyxiation how? CO2? CO2 is well known to cause lung hemorrhages.

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The hamsters died from overheating.
Don't know enough about this to comment, but since most mammals cool themselves by increasing blood flow to the lungs and nasal cavity, it doesn't seem unlikely that hyperthermia would lead to nosebleed.

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The turtle (was not wild, it was a pet)...
But where did it come from? Many (most?) pet turtles are wild caught.

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died from being pulled out of hibernation and couldn't tolerate the temperature change.
That's hardly non-traumatic. It's organ systems were all out of whack with one another. It's hard to think of a more traumatic death, except perhaps roasting over a slow fire. Hardly surprising that there was internal bleeding.

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The man mentioned above died from overdose.
Of what? Assuming it was stimulant like cocaine then nosebleeds aren't all that rare, even without death.

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alot were from the local zoo too, and those were documented natural deaths.
Natural death covers a lot of territory.


I think the point here is that you aren't really dealing with a normal subsample of dead animals, or even a sample of animals that suffered no trauma. The lungs and nasal membranes have a very rich blood supply and are very thin. When systems get put of whack they are prone to rupture, which is why children, with their small bodies, are highly prone to nosebleeds. So it's not surprising that animals under extreme, prolonged stress such as your turtle will similarly suffer nosebleeds.

But most of the time animals die without any facial bleeding at all, especially if the death is quick.
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  #16  
Old 12-06-2009, 01:51 AM
ToeJam ToeJam is offline
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Where the blood came from is easy enough- that'd be from the capillaries/ venous collections basically. After death, the Heart pretty has stopped beating, so blood is no longer circulating in the body, and is in a state of statis. This is going to cause the pooling effects and various clotting effects (such as the one beo mentions) 3 days is certainly a great amount of time for the blood to pool towards the lowest points- because all the blood that WAS pushing pushed through the body no longer is. And if enough blood fills up the vessels, each will take the stress in various ways- the larger vessels are the least likely to break as they're quite elastic and have thick musculature. The weakest ones however are the capillaries, these vessels are small enough sometimes to only allow a single cell through. So now with all the stasis of blood that's not going anywhere you're going to have a back flow- arteries don't have valves, so the blood will pool and collect, following gravity, veins will fare better as they do have valves but even then many can give out, especially since there is no longer any pressure driving the blood forwards and through the valves.

But the key then would be the capillaries, these are most likely to burst first and cause the trickling of blood that you're seeing caused by the pooling of blood. The nose certainly does have plenty of capilaries, and that's an easy explaination for that sort of thing.

I was curious as I was thinking you meant instanteously there's blood coming out of someone at the moment of death, as in movies and such. So I'd say it's more likely just the capillaries bursting due to increased amounts of pooled blood due to the heart no longer pumping blood.
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  #17  
Old 12-06-2009, 02:51 AM
Helix1047 Helix1047 is offline
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Originally Posted by ToeJam View Post
Where the blood came from is easy enough- that'd be from the capillaries/ venous collections basically. After death, the Heart pretty has stopped beating, so blood is no longer circulating in the body, and is in a state of statis. This is going to cause the pooling effects and various clotting effects (such as the one beo mentions) 3 days is certainly a great amount of time for the blood to pool towards the lowest points- because all the blood that WAS pushing pushed through the body no longer is. And if enough blood fills up the vessels, each will take the stress in various ways- the larger vessels are the least likely to break as they're quite elastic and have thick musculature. The weakest ones however are the capillaries, these vessels are small enough sometimes to only allow a single cell through. So now with all the stasis of blood that's not going anywhere you're going to have a back flow- arteries don't have valves, so the blood will pool and collect, following gravity, veins will fare better as they do have valves but even then many can give out, especially since there is no longer any pressure driving the blood forwards and through the valves.

But the key then would be the capillaries, these are most likely to burst first and cause the trickling of blood that you're seeing caused by the pooling of blood. The nose certainly does have plenty of capilaries, and that's an easy explaination for that sort of thing.

I was curious as I was thinking you meant instanteously there's blood coming out of someone at the moment of death, as in movies and such. So I'd say it's more likely just the capillaries bursting due to increased amounts of pooled blood due to the heart no longer pumping blood.

How long does it take for capillaries to burst after death?

I'd assume they gradually weaken causing this effect of bleeding after several hours which does seem to correspond with the effects seen.

This effect is probably exacerbated by freezing.




Blake: This is irrelevant. It doesn't matter how that particular turtle died, I'm speaking of general taphonomical trends in post mortem changes.

You make alot of assumptions to support your points, but Im not really interested in that. Offering speculation isnt useful.
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  #18  
Old 12-06-2009, 03:20 AM
Blake Blake is offline
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Originally Posted by Helix1047 View Post
Blake: This is irrelevant.
It's highly relevant. When you claim that the bleeding is observed after non-traumatic deaths it's hardly irrelevant to point out that such bleeding has never observed it after a non-traumatic death.

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It doesn't matter how that particular turtle died, I'm speaking of general taphonomical trends in post mortem changes.
But you have absolutely no evidence that this is a general taphonomical trend.

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You make alot of assumptions to support your points...
I have made no assumptions at all. I have asked you for details and worked with the details you have provided.

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Offering speculation isnt useful.
Since there is no evidence that what you describe actually happens when there is no lung/head trauma it's impossible to do anything but speculate isn't it?
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  #19  
Old 12-06-2009, 08:04 AM
Vihaga Vihaga is offline
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I've killed thousands of mice (by Co2 inhalation or lethal injection) and hundreds of rats (same ways), and I've never seen this with those kinds of deaths. Maybe we didn't leave them sitting around long enough (probably a few hours before freezing is all I've seen), but I can't say we wouldn't if we left them hanging upside down in the lab for a few days. It's definitely not something that invariably happens right after they die, though.
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  #20  
Old 12-06-2009, 12:05 PM
rhubarbarin rhubarbarin is offline
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It's from lung trauma, not head trauma. This could be from a traumatic injury, but there are several ways to die that involved the lungs filling with blood. Pulmonary embolism, untreated lung cancer, etc.

I've seen this before a few times.. animals that have been hit by cars. It also happens when you're still alive. When my dog, who is now 13, was a 4-month-old puppy, our neighbor's dog attacked - shook her like a rat, and threw her. She bled from her nose and mouth almost immediately because two of her ribs had broken and punctured her lung. She pulled through after surgery, but it was a close call.
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  #21  
Old 12-06-2009, 12:25 PM
ToeJam ToeJam is offline
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Originally Posted by Helix1047 View Post
How long does it take for capillaries to burst after death?
I do not know that. Though I'd say it's more of a pressure issue than a time/degeneration issue- so however long it'd take for enough liquids to pool there to burst the capillary. How long that is? I think it varies from case to case depending on the method of death. Because you could have similar issues if the heart was simply beating too fast- the hypertension nose bleeds apply by this reason- no reason to say that the bleeding may have happened while the person was alive and continued into death if the person's heart beat to the point of collapse/exhaustion.

I personally like the trauma to the lungs example- as that's the best way to explain the blood coming out of the mouth, because again- the lungs are filled with capillaries, and there is always going to be some damage or trauma to the lungs usually.

That's the problem, i don't think there's a hard and fast fixed answer for this, and it depends on the methods of death and the time and manner the body was handled.
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  #22  
Old 12-06-2009, 09:25 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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Originally Posted by rhubarbarin View Post
It's from lung trauma, not head trauma.
Let me assure you, it occurs due to head trauma. When the skull is fractured and a hemorrhage in the brain is draining straight into the nasal sinuses, how could it not occur?
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  #23  
Old 12-07-2009, 03:44 AM
kombatminipig kombatminipig is offline
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Originally Posted by beo.thuck View Post
If when human blood hydraulics cease to function the head is in the lowest position.. The body is now a bag with holes in it (ears, nostrils, mouth) and the fluid leaks out.
No, it's actually a pretty well self contained bag of fluid.
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  #24  
Old 12-07-2009, 10:11 AM
rhubarbarin rhubarbarin is offline
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Originally Posted by Blake View Post
Let me assure you, it occurs due to head trauma. When the skull is fractured and a hemorrhage in the brain is draining straight into the nasal sinuses, how could it not occur?
It could possibly happen, but your head would have to crushed in exactly the right place (ie between the bloody brain cavity and the sinuses - they are fully separated, of course, otherwise our cerebral fluid would drain out of our brains through our nose). If you shot yourself in the mouth I think the chances are high.

I've known many people with skull fractures and severe brain bleeding, and animals with crushed and exploded skulls and none of them has bled out of their nose/mouth. In fact a boxer in my area just died in the ring from skull fracture and brain bleeding and it sure didn't happen to him.
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  #25  
Old 12-07-2009, 10:23 AM
Wile E Wile E is offline
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I have seen lots of animals die and those that bleed from the mouth and nose afterwards have usually died from chest or head trauma, congestive heart failure, lung disease, electrocution, drowning, bleeding disorders, heat stroke (they usually go into DIC and bleed from every orifice) and a certain type of rat poison. I have seen many that have died from other causes that did not bleed after death and many times the bodies were left unfrozen for a couple hours after death so the owners could visit. I have also seen plenty of frozen corpses that did not have any post mortem bleeding.
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  #26  
Old 12-07-2009, 10:36 AM
Blake Blake is offline
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Originally Posted by rhubarbarin View Post
It could possibly happen, but your head would have to crushed in exactly the right place
Of course, that's what I said in my first post. Nonetheless it does happen.

When you are euthansing an animal by crushing its skull it is almost universal.

When shooting an animal that is facing you it is also quite common. The (unfortunately overused) "between the eyes" shot in most mammals only results in damaging the sinuses and stunning the animal, missing the brain altogether. With such shots bleeding from the mouth/nose is also universal.


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if you shot yourself in the mouth I think the chances are high.
You, sir, are master of understatement.

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I've known many people with skull fractures and severe brain bleeding, and animals with crushed and exploded skulls and none of them has bled out of their nose/mouth.
Funnily enough, I said almost exactly the same thing in my first post.

Nonetheless bleeding from the mouth/nose is common in head injuries, and claiming, as you did, that it does not occur due to head trauma is simply wrong.

[In fact a boxer in my area just died in the ring from skull fracture and brain bleeding and it sure didn't happen to him.[/QUOTE]
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  #27  
Old 12-07-2009, 08:24 PM
ToeJam ToeJam is offline
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Originally Posted by Wile E View Post
I have seen lots of animals die and those that bleed from the mouth and nose afterwards have usually died from ... and a certain type of rat poison.
:nod: I believe there are some Rat poisons that are simply Warfarin (an anticoagulant drug), which basically is presented in such fatal doses for a mouse that any injury it has sustained will not clot, and basically forces them to bleed to death, so yeah rat poisons' def. one of those things that'll cause bleeding from pretty much every pore of the mice.

And can have the same effect in humans but of course you'd need much larger doses.
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  #28  
Old 12-07-2009, 11:10 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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Originally Posted by ToeJam View Post
:nod: I believe there are some Rat poisons that are simply Warfarin (an anticoagulant drug)....
These days they are much more likely to be Coumarin type anticoagulants that only require a single dose. They work in much the same way though.
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  #29  
Old 12-08-2009, 12:07 AM
ToeJam ToeJam is offline
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Ah, yeah my bad. That's what I meant.
Coumadin does work quicker than Warfarin. Makes sense. Mea culpa.
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  #30  
Old 12-08-2009, 08:41 AM
VunderBob VunderBob is offline
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[double post]

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  #31  
Old 12-08-2009, 08:43 AM
VunderBob VunderBob is offline
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I'm an EMT, and I've seen my share of dead people, and also my share of dead critters throughout my life.

Anything bleeding from the mouth, nose, and/or ears at death has an injury that caused it, be it a trauma, or a medical condition such as a bleeding ulcer, bleeding stroke, etc.

Said bleeding IS NOT automatic. A human can have a skull fracture that does not bleed externally.
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  #32  
Old 12-11-2009, 01:23 AM
Helix1047 Helix1047 is offline
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I have seen lots of animals die and those that bleed from the mouth and nose afterwards have usually died from chest or head trauma, congestive heart failure, lung disease, electrocution, drowning, bleeding disorders, heat stroke (they usually go into DIC and bleed from every orifice) and a certain type of rat poison. I have seen many that have died from other causes that did not bleed after death and many times the bodies were left unfrozen for a couple hours after death so the owners could visit. I have also seen plenty of frozen corpses that did not have any post mortem bleeding.
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This is Really interesting.

I can understand the other more obvious reason, but why congestive heart failure... ?

Among other things?


Quote:
I'm an EMT, and I've seen my share of dead people, and also my share of dead critters throughout my life.

Anything bleeding from the mouth, nose, and/or ears at death has an injury that caused it, be it a trauma, or a medical condition such as a bleeding ulcer, bleeding stroke, etc.

Said bleeding IS NOT automatic. A human can have a skull fracture that does not bleed externally.
That's some pretty good experience... Does it ever occur in people with heart attacks and heart failure?

If so, what causes that.
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  #33  
Old 12-11-2009, 02:20 AM
BigT BigT is online now
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Originally Posted by Wile E View Post
I have seen lots of animals die...
So I take it you are much more effective than your name sake?
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  #34  
Old 12-11-2009, 07:19 AM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Step back from a second... are you sure you're talking about real blood? Hemorrhage?

Many people, including my students, are quick to call "blood" whatever looks reddish and stains a bit red. That is not blood... Blood has a specific composition, consists of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and certain amounts of specific proteins and minerals.

What they're calling "blood" is actually called serosanguineous fluid... Edema (extravascular fluid), with a variable protein count and type, and with few to some red blood cells. The red blood cells ended up outside the vessels either because the capillary ruptured, or due to increased capillary pressure causing erythrocytes to leak out one by one.

Serosanguineous fluid, small or a lot, I've seen regularly in many animals, and it may give a clue as to the proximal cause of death. True bleeding from the nose and mouth? Unless it is a post mortem artifact, it is an indicator of some underlying pathology.

I work with dead animals.
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  #35  
Old 12-11-2009, 07:01 PM
Helix1047 Helix1047 is offline
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Originally Posted by KarlGrenze View Post
Step back from a second... are you sure you're talking about real blood? Hemorrhage?

Many people, including my students, are quick to call "blood" whatever looks reddish and stains a bit red. That is not blood... Blood has a specific composition, consists of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and certain amounts of specific proteins and minerals.

What they're calling "blood" is actually called serosanguineous fluid... Edema (extravascular fluid), with a variable protein count and type, and with few to some red blood cells. The red blood cells ended up outside the vessels either because the capillary ruptured, or due to increased capillary pressure causing erythrocytes to leak out one by one.

Serosanguineous fluid, small or a lot, I've seen regularly in many animals, and it may give a clue as to the proximal cause of death. True bleeding from the nose and mouth? Unless it is a post mortem artifact, it is an indicator of some underlying pathology.

I work with dead animals.



Actually..... I think that's exactly what Im talking about.

The blood I see regularly, does have a thin and watery quality.

I just assumed that it was blood and that maybe it doesn't clot well after death.


What clues can you gather from Serosanguineous fluid ?


Quote:
Unless it is a post mortem artifact, it is an indicator of some underlying pathology.
Can you expand on this a little? What kind of post mortem artifacts ?



Thanks for the insightful comment. I see this kind of "seepage" in carcasses all the time and I just assumed that it was blood because it was red.

Last edited by Helix1047; 12-11-2009 at 07:02 PM..
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:54 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Animals with congestive heart failure, or animals that had edema before dying will have increased amounts of this fluid than others, for example. Not necessarily THE clue needed to solve the cause of death, but just supporting evidence for different causes.

By post mortem artifact I meant if someone slashed, cut, or yanked something out of the dead animal, severing vessels. The animal was already dead, but that area may look a bloody mess and the pathologist has to make sure it was not there before death. Not common.
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:11 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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BTW, as others have said, the same thin watery fluid can occur just by having the animal lay around while it decomposes... Or by freezing it, then thawing it... Or by putting the animal in a cooler for extended periods of time.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:32 PM
rhubarbarin rhubarbarin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake View Post
Of course, that's what I said in my first post. Nonetheless it does happen.

When you are euthansing an animal by crushing its skull it is almost universal.

When shooting an animal that is facing you it is also quite common. The (unfortunately overused) "between the eyes" shot in most mammals only results in damaging the sinuses and stunning the animal, missing the brain altogether. With such shots bleeding from the mouth/nose is also universal.




You, sir, are master of understatement.



Funnily enough, I said almost exactly the same thing in my first post.

Nonetheless bleeding from the mouth/nose is common in head injuries, and claiming, as you did, that it does not occur due to head trauma is simply wrong.

[In fact a boxer in my area just died in the ring from skull fracture and brain bleeding and it sure didn't happen to him.
I shouldn't have said it 'wasn't' due to head trauma. I didn't mean to imply it never could be in any situation. And please, call me ma'am.

How do you determine it is 'common' in head injuries? Outside of completely crushed and mangled heads, which are a tiny minority of head injuries among humans, I would still assume it is very rare.

Last edited by rhubarbarin; 12-11-2009 at 10:33 PM..
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:53 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhubarbarin View Post
How do you determine it is 'common' in head injuries? Outside of completely crushed and mangled heads, which are a tiny minority of head injuries among humans, I would still assume it is very rare.
God grief no. Anyone who has ever seen a fight of a even football game knows how common bloody noses, spit lips, cut tongues and so forth are. Most serious impact to the face is going to result in bleeding from the nose or mouth.
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:09 PM
Helix1047 Helix1047 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake View Post
God grief no. Anyone who has ever seen a fight of a even football game knows how common bloody noses, spit lips, cut tongues and so forth are. Most serious impact to the face is going to result in bleeding from the nose or mouth.
Quote:
Quote:
The man mentioned above died from overdose.
Of what? Assuming it was stimulant like cocaine then nosebleeds aren't all that rare, even without death.

Nosebleeds during fights, minor cuts to the face and tongue are just minor injuries.... they can happen anywhere, it's not the same thing.

For example, in the heroin overdose anecdote that was mentioned earlier... it's true that drug users can have frequent nosebleeds. But a 3 foot pool is alot of blood. vessels in the nose and sinus area are fairly small, and ruptures are sealed up relative quickly.
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:20 PM
rhubarbarin rhubarbarin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake View Post
God grief no. Anyone who has ever seen a fight of a even football game knows how common bloody noses, spit lips, cut tongues and so forth are. Most serious impact to the face is going to result in bleeding from the nose or mouth.
Come on now. This thread is not about garden-variety nosebleeds from being bonked in the face playing sports. It is about dead or dying animals who bled copiously from their orifices before, during, or after dying, without an obvious injury to their nose or mouth.

Last edited by rhubarbarin; 12-11-2009 at 11:21 PM..
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:01 AM
Blake Blake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhubarbarin View Post
Come on now. This thread is not about garden-variety nosebleeds from being bonked in the face playing sports. It is about dead or dying animals who bled copiously from their orifices before, during, or after dying, without an obvious injury to their nose or mouth.
No, it isn't.

This thread is about (and I quote) "mice and rats that.... often have blood on the snout area or bleed from the mouth and nose when thawed" and "animal carcasses [that] often have blood coming out of the nose."

Blood on the snout area, bleeding from the mouth upon thawing and blood coming from the nose can all be explained perfectly well by a nosebleed.

I'm not sure where you're getting this "bleeding copiously" idea from. Some of the examples given in this thread mention copious bleeding, the vast majority do not. The majority describe blood around the muzzle or coming form the nose that could be perfectly attributed to a nosebleed.
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Old 02-25-2010, 01:53 AM
anodoin anodoin is offline
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Here's the deal with post-mortem bleeding in trauma situations.

First I'll need to explain a little bit about the body. (Animals work similarly.) Blood, obviously, is very important to our body. It carries nutrients to, and toxins away from, every cell in the body. It also has clotting factors in it to patch any "leaks" that may occur. Our blood exchanges these nutrients and toxins in capilaries, the smallest vessels in our body. They're actually smaller than the diameter of a red blood cell -- the cell has to "squish into" the capilary to go through. This maximizes contact between the blood cell and capilary wall to pass substances through. Anyways, this system is in a very carefully maintaned balance. Proper blood pressure ensures proper nutrient / toxin transfer, and the body has all sorts of clever ways to maintain blood pressure. The heart can adjust how strongly and how quickly it beats. Arteries are muscular, they can constrict and dialate to maintain pressure. (Think of a garden hose, if you stick your thumb over the end of it, the pressure of the water goes up.) There are tiny valves located throughout the body as well, to direct blood away from non-essential parts. Anyways, there's a limit to what the body can maintain. Let's say you shoot a deer, and it loses a significant amount of blood volume. Blood pressure drops, and perfusion (the name for the exchance of oxygen, nutrients and toxins) fails. Cells will die if something isn't done. At this point the body goes into shock. Shock progresses through a few stages --

Compensated Shock.

At this point, the body is able to maintain blood pressure and perfusion on it's own. Chemicals are released to constrict the arteries and tell the heart to pump harder and faster. Those tiny valves I was talking about before -- precapillary and postcapillary sphincters, shut. This prevents blood going into and out of the capillaries, directing bloodflow to the more important internal organs. The body will start to pull fluids out of cells and dump them into the blood supply in an attempt to increase blood volume and blood pressure. People going into shock will often complain of thurst at this stage.

Decompensated shock.

This is where things start to go wrong, and the body's safety mechanisms start to fail or cause problems of their own. The blood that's in the capillaries, between the two valves that were shut, is stagnant, and so it starts to clot. This happens in a lot of places. In addition, the cells that the capillaries once fed, are now deprived of oxygen from the lungs. This causes the cells to create energy in another way, without oxygen. Unfortunately this isn't very efficient and doesn't last long, and has the bad effect of producing lots of acid, natural byproducts of cellular metabolism that would normally be disposed of by the normal flow of blood. This acidity, and lack of oxygen to, damages the cells, and blood vessels. Blood starts leaking internally. The pre- and post-capillary sphincters fail, allowing thick, clotted blood back into the circulation. This makes all of the blood thicker than it should be, allowing for clots to form everywhere in the blood supply. The thicker blood puts a greater strain on the heart, and greatly hinders perfusion throughout the body. All of the body's clotting agents are used up, meaning the body can no longer stop itself from bleeding. Acid levels are building up all over the body as the garbage is no longer removed properly. Damages to cells and blood vessels are happening all over. People in this stage will start to bleed from unusual places -- eyes, ears, nose, mouth, fingertips, toetips, etc., as the tiny vessels are damaged and unable to clot.

Irreversible Shock

At this point, all the abovementioned damage has now damaged the internal organs to the point that the entire body is failing and there's nothing one can do.


Now anyways, back to the animals you've seen, it doesn't take a bullet to do this, obviously different kinds of trauma could cause it. It *could* be caused by a simple "nose bleed," or it could be caused by shock. If you have gravity working for you, it wouldn't be too hard for the body to just leak out as was sometimes seen.
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:00 PM
BigNik BigNik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake View Post
Even head wounds don't usually result in blood form the mouth/nose.

Can you possibly provide more details? What were these non-traumatic death that you witnessed? How did the animal/person actually die? That will probably help explain what you saw.
Realising that this thread was resurrected this morning, I can throw in a little here.

On Sunday, my dog died. At a community fair he was poisoned by an anonymous someone who dropped GHB into a water dish that one of the stallholders put out. The results were - and I'm being controlled here, because I don't want to summon up all the emotions at work - unpleasant.

Nevertheless, just before he stopped breathing he had two seizures. During the second one, a blood vessel in his lungs appeared to have burst and he bled quite copiously from his mouth and nose during his last moments.
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:02 PM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
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Oh my God. I have no comment on the thread topic in general, but just wanted to say to BigNik that I am so sorry that happened to your dog. That's awful.
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:14 PM
BigNik BigNik is offline
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Thanks, MsWhatsit - but I wasn't trying to turn the thread into a pity party. I'm absolutely gutted, but it's a little less raw than it was earlier in the week.
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:04 PM
You Grow Hair You Grow Hair is offline
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Better late than never!

Hi everyone,

Animals bleed from the mouth or nose directly after death because of internal bleeding, which may be either from trauma or disease/infection.

Trauma that would cause this would be force trauma from being dropped at distance or being (usually) unintentionally stepped on or kicked (small cats or dogs/mice/hamster/gerbils). With trauma, it takes organ, arteries, veins, or soft tissue rupture and flow would happen towards the mouth or nose from the digestive track or lungs once the body is no longer flat, but angled with the head down.

Disease or infection usually cause swelling or inflammation to occur. Lung diseases, cardiac failure (sudden or chronic), upper GI infection or disease, or the organ failure of old age can cause organs to increase blood flow as a body's way of compensating for oxygen/nutrient loss. Often blood or other fluids begin to fill the lungs as the heart fails or if there is a severe bacterial/viral infection of the airways such as pneumonia.

Blood, like most fluids, travels the course of least resistance and gravity when it flows.

Flow of other fluids mixed with blood usually comes as decomposition progresses and pressure creates new avenues for expelling them, such as burst ear drums or bursting of organs into other organs or areas having previously expelled their contents.

The lower digestive track may or may not release its contents immediately or shortly after death, due to lack of anything there (chronic health problems, diet or starvation/dehydration) or organic/structural obstructions that hinder the action. It can expel blood, if any inflammation there recedes after death and the large amount of blood bursts walls/capillaries. Force trauma to the area can also cause this to happen immediately. Usually what is in the lower track comes out the bottom of the torso, because of the structure of the intestines.

I extend my belated condolences to the author of this thread. I am one who needs to know the minute details of things to understand them and I sincerely hope this helps.



YGH
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:31 PM
XM316 XM316 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by You Grow Hair View Post
Hi everyone,

Animals bleed from the mouth or nose directly after death because of internal bleeding, which may be either from trauma or disease/infection.

Trauma that would cause this would be force trauma from being dropped at distance or being (usually) unintentionally stepped on or kicked (small cats or dogs/mice/hamster/gerbils). With trauma, it takes organ, arteries, veins, or soft tissue rupture and flow would happen towards the mouth or nose from the digestive track or lungs once the body is no longer flat, but angled with the head down.

Disease or infection usually cause swelling or inflammation to occur. Lung diseases, cardiac failure (sudden or chronic), upper GI infection or disease, or the organ failure of old age can cause organs to increase blood flow as a body's way of compensating for oxygen/nutrient loss. Often blood or other fluids begin to fill the lungs as the heart fails or if there is a severe bacterial/viral infection of the airways such as pneumonia.

Blood, like most fluids, travels the course of least resistance and gravity when it flows.

Flow of other fluids mixed with blood usually comes as decomposition progresses and pressure creates new avenues for expelling them, such as burst ear drums or bursting of organs into other organs or areas having previously expelled their contents.

The lower digestive track may or may not release its contents immediately or shortly after death, due to lack of anything there (chronic health problems, diet or starvation/dehydration) or organic/structural obstructions that hinder the action. It can expel blood, if any inflammation there recedes after death and the large amount of blood bursts walls/capillaries. Force trauma to the area can also cause this to happen immediately. Usually what is in the lower track comes out the bottom of the torso, because of the structure of the intestines.

I extend my belated condolences to the author of this thread. I am one who needs to know the minute details of things to understand them and I sincerely hope this helps.



YGH
YGH,

Thanks for this. It sounds like exactly what happened to my dog this past Sunday. She was 16 (very old for a 50lb dog) and she died quietly while lying on her stomach. When I found her, I could have sworn she was sleeping but she didn't react when shaken and a light shined into her eye gave no pupil contraction. Her body was still warm, so she had not been gone long (pooling or decomposition were unlikely). When I rolled her onto her side, some blood bubbles came out of her nose and when I lifted her (very limp, no rigor), copious amounts of blood came from her nose and continued to run out as I carried her away. I assumed massive heart failure but I began to fear that maybe she had choked on something. I know she had not gotten into any rat poison, as she never strayed far from home.

Your explanation makes sense and fits in with what I have been thinking. Thank you for taking the time to post.
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:13 PM
fiddlesticks fiddlesticks is offline
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Awww, saddest zombie thread ever. Sorry XM316.
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:17 PM
Michael63129 Michael63129 is offline
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Double zombie (or even triple if you count a three-month gap)... quite an appropriate topic as well.

I have seen the same thing several times with dead animals in the yard (squirrels); I don't know how they died but not from trauma (I think), probably what You Grow Hair said.
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