Fort Lauderdale vet unveils synthetic dog for practice surgery

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Lauderdale Veterinary Specialist began operating on its new, life-like synthetic dog, “Brisket,” for the first time, Friday.

The veterinarians who performed surgery on the synthetic dog said it’s just like operating on a live animal.

“Using cadavers is never the same as working on a live animal,” said Dr. Ira Zaslow. “These models here, they breath, they bleed, their hearts move up and down, their lungs move. The simulation is just as if you’re working on a live animal.”

The model was created by biotechnology company SynDaver Labs in Tampa Bay and cost the practice $28,000.

Zaslow said the veterinary industry has fallen behind technologically, but tools like Brisket can help it catch up.

“I think we’ve had a lag in vet medicine,” said Zaslow. “Some of the young doctors come out with less than the training they need to work in clinical practice.”

The life-like models allow doctors to create different situations, such as cancer, broken bones, or in Friday’s case, a hysterectomy.

“You can have significant blood loss as you’re doing the procedure,” said Dr. Jennifer Bibevski, who was performing the surgery. “This model will allow us to simulate that by purposely cutting one of the blood vessels, allowing it to hemorrhage, and then teaching the students how to identify where the blood is coming from and how to stop the blood loss.”

Through a Bluetooth connection between a tablet and the model, surgeons can control things such as heart rate. That sort of control allows young doctors to train in changing scenarios.

“It’s more realistic than a cadaver,” said Dr. Jenessa Grau, a veterinary intern. “When you cut the vessel, you get the pulsing that you usually you get in surgery.”

Zaslow said improved technology means more lives saved.

“At one time, euthanasia was the treatment of choice,” said Zaslow. “Now, we know we can save these animals.”

If you’d like to donate to SynDaver Labs to continue creating  life-like synthetic dogs, go to: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/syndaver-synthetic-canine-a-veterinary-revolution#/ 

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