The determination of body condition is a fundamental component of an evaluation during postmortem examinations of cetaceans. Three veterinarians experienced in beluga postmortem techniques subjectively evaluated 62 carcasses of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in duplicate, using a visual analog scale. The result of evaluation and scoring was repeatable in cachectic animals and animals in very good condition but did not capture the continuum of body condition determinations between the obvious visual conditions.
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Vol. 55 • No. 2