Home Science A synthetic dog breathes, bleeds, and dies for veterinary students

A synthetic dog breathes, bleeds, and dies for veterinary students

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Veterinarians in training would sometimes have to practice on live dogs and cats from shelters that were anaesthetised for the procedure, and euthanised when was done. The practice was called terminal surgery, and while most academic institutions have thankfully phased it out over the past decade,
many are still looking for a viable alternative to give students the
hands-on experience they need that’s more realistic than poking around
in a cadaver.

“I do feel I carry that sin. I still feel guilty about it,”
veterinarian David Danielson, who operated on live dogs though vet
school to learn everything from neutering to brain surgery, told Erin Maloney at Bay News

Danielson is vice president of veterinary technology at SynDaver
Lab, a Tampa-based biotech company that also produces synthetic human
tissues and body parts for clinical training and surgical simulation. 
They’re now working on an animal version for vets that’s designed
to breathe, bleed, and die, and different iterations will require
students to address various common ailments, including cutting out
tumours or extracting socks from the stomach (labrador owners know what I’m talking about).  

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Students can even learn how to perform brain surgery on these
synthetic dogs, and if they screw up, they’re going to have to figure
out how to save the situation before their fake patient bleeds out like a
real one. 

“The canine utilises SynDaver’s patented SynTissue, which mimics
living tissue, includes a full list of functioning bodily systems, and
has the capability to simulate customised diseases, illnesses and
medical complications,” the company explains, adding that it has a heartbeat and circulatory system, and bleeds when cuts are made.

As you can see in the pics above and below, this thing is
complete and utter nightmare material, but if it helps vet students, I
guess we’ll have to live with these sad-looking monsters. 
The company now wants to donate 20 of these US$28,500 synthetic dogs to a
number of accredited veterinary colleges around the world, with the
idea that they would be obtainable for free, and then SynDaver would
provide an upkeep service for a fee. 

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