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Thread: lack of rigor mortis

  1. #1

    lack of rigor mortis

    I neck shot a sika stag this morning at 7.30. By the time I left him into the game dealer at 10.30 there was no trace of rigor mortis- in fact he could have been described as completely floppy. It was noted at the intake and he was checked out for spine/shoulder damage. The shot entered and exited mid neck. Normally I wouldn't be as quick between shot and dealer but I would have expected some degree of stiffening up.Any thoughts. Ion

  2. #2
    It must have been well bled.

  3. #3
    Depending on the temperature it could take 5 or 6 hours for rigor mortis to kick in. If the animal was very thin and sickly it may not set at all, though if that was the case it probably would have been rejected at the dealers.

  4. #4
    V good bleed. Low ground pricket - good internal fat. 36 kg dealer weight.

  5. #5
    What was the temperature? As said above, RM might not have had time to set in, particularly if it was quite cold outside.

  6. #6
    Bleeding and temp shouldn't matter , RM is brought about by correct PH a fevered or stressed animal may not set...

  7. #7
    I thought a build up of calcium within the muscle fibres causes it, they just keep contracting till fully constricted, the lack of ATP in system maintains the state of rigor, i also thought bleeding and temp played a part, maybe just to much CSI Miami!!!

  8. #8
    Not questioning this case at all but an animal that was shot and took considerable time to find and gralloch will nearly always remain floppy.

  9. #9
    Its possible that I am misleading you using the phrase 'rigor mortis'. I got no impression of floppiness when I dragged the pricket initially. It was cool after a grass frost- temperature rising from a pre dawn low of about 2 degrees celsius. I watched him for about 10 minutes as we were opposite sides of a freshly sown field. He behaved normally before shot ( as long as showing some interest in a fox call is considered normal). As he was shot pretty well in the centre of the sown ground I dragged him to the headland before gralloching. I would estimate about 20 minutes elapsed between shot and gralloch-perhaps not perfect practice but within the guidelines. The alternative was to risk getting clay into the stomach cavity. I got a good bleed at the point of shot. It was probably 90 minutes after shot when I had him in the cradle for chest splitting, head removal etc. When heart end lungs were removed a reasonable amount of blood came out of the chest cavity. This I would attribute to to the use of the knife for bleeding post shot. It was only when putting him into the tray to drive to the dealer that I noticed the floppiness of the back legs. Up to this point he had exhibited all the signs of a healthy carcase externally and internally.
    On reflection although he was in winter coat he appeared to have slightly more soft juvenile undercoat than usual. The guys at the intake handle hundreds of carcases .The one who signed off on mine thought the floppiness of the front legs when the carcase was hanging was due to bullet damage but appeared satisfied when I showed him the entry and exit wound mid neck. My docket records a body temperature of 30 degrees celsius approximately 3 hours after shot if this has any bearing on the matter.

    As I said in my original post it would be unusual for me to have such a short time scale between shooting and delivery. Initially I was curious about the lack of stiffness in the carcase but presumed that if had hung for longer it would have set. At the time I felt that I had completed the intake document correctly. In the intervening period I suppose it is fair to say that I have some concern about the quality of the carcase. In the worst case scenario I presume the checks in the AGHE will come into play.

    I was unable to upload a copy of the intake document as used in Ireland. But I was able to upload the annotated explanatory note. It may be of some interest.

    This is the download link to the intake document I hope .

    Thanks for the comments

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WGI1HunterExplanatoryNote010813.pdf  

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by nell View Post
    Bleeding and temp shouldn't matter , RM is brought about by correct PH a fevered or stressed animal may not set...
    According to google

    Experimental evaluation of rigor mortis. V. Effect of various tempe... - PubMed - NCBI

    Objective measurements were carried out to study the evolution of rigor mortis on rats at various temperatures. Our experiments showed that: (1) at 6 degrees C rigor mortis reaches full development between 48 and 60 hours post mortem, and is resolved at 168 hours post mortem; (2) at 24 degrees C rigor mortis reaches full development at 5 hours post mortem, and is resolved at 16 hours post mortem
    This suggests the lower the temperature the slower the onset and the longer the duration. I'm sure there's many other factors too though.

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