Analysis of Samples from a Cow Mutilated in the Fall of 2001 (Logan, Utah)


A cow was found mutilated in northern Utah (near Logan) in the fall of 2001. The object is to look for any components that should not be normally present in the animal. To accomplish this, samples of liver tissue, blood, and vitreous fluid from the mutilated animal were submitted for analysis.

Additionally, the analytical results of the vitreous fluid from the mutilated animal are compared to that from a control animal as an aid to achieve this objective.


1.) Comparison of the analytical results from the vitreous fluids from a control heifer and the mutilated animal reveals differences in phenolic type materials. The vitreous fluid contains higher amounts of as well as additional phenolic types. It is speculated that these could originate from decomposition products of drugs and/or controlled substances. Many of these substances have similar phenolic functionalities as part of their structures. See Table IV.

2.) A trace amount of oxindole (ca. 0.6 pm) was also found in the vitreous fluid of the mutilated animal. The low amount indicates it is a byproduct of natural biological compounds found in the animal such as low levels of tryptophan.

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3.) A specific drug structure is not identified by this analysis for the possible following three reasons: 1) it is totally deteriorated, that is, only the byproducts exist; 2) the chemical nature of the drug is not amenable to detection by the analytical procedure employed
2, 3) a foreign material (drug) was not administered to the animal before euthanasia. (This analyst feels the reasons are a combination of the 1 and 2 speculations. The 3 speculation is least likely because of the presence of high concentrations of phenolics.)

The Analysis

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This post was published on October 19, 2016

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