Realistic dog model created in effort to replace canine cadavers for veterinary surgical teaching
Could canine cadavers for veterinary surgical teaching become a thing of the past? If SynDaver has anything to say about it, the answer is yes.
The company, who already produces a line of synthetic humans, has developed a synthetic canine model, with the hopes of providing 20 synthetic cadaver dogs free to each accredited veterinary teaching hospital in the world through a $24 million crowdfunding program.
SynDaver, based in Tampa, Florida, worked with the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine to make the cadaver as lifelike as possible, according to a release from the company. The synthetic cadaver is made of water, fiber and salt. Each cadaver is anatomically correct and features lifelike fat, fascia planes, bones, muscles, ligaments, joints and all body systems.
The skinless dog not only mimics the feeling of living tissue but breathes, has a heartbeat and can be programmed to simulate various diseases and medical complications. The skin even bleeds when surgical cuts are made, since the cadaver has a circulatory system.
Michael Blackwell, DVM, MPH, former chief veterinarian of the U.S. Public Health Service and current Senior Director of Veterinary Policy for the Humane Society of the United States, is on board with the product. “A significant number of students do not care to be involved in terminal surgery procedures or the use of live animals when there is an alternative,” he says in the release. “I am so happy to have this change because that is where we need to be today.”
What about other synthetic animal models? The company says if it exceeds the $24 million in crowdfunding, it will begin work on cat models next, then horses and cows.