Dogs and cats living in animal shelters were the usual "practice subjects" for would-be veterinarians not so long ago—something called "terminal surgery" by veterinarians. After the surgical procedure, students would euthanize the animal when they were done.

Thankfully, the academic community phased-out this teaching method; however, veterinarians are still looking for exacting alternatives that will be able to give students a realistic veterinary experience.

David Danielson may just have the solution. In addition to being a veterinarian, he is also the vice president of SynDaver Lab, a company that makes synthetic human tissue and body parts for medical simulations.

He and his team are currently working on a synthetic dog prototype that breathes and bleeds just as a living dog would. Veterinary students can now perform multiple surgeries on the dog and expect it to react accordingly—perhaps even more so when they make mistakes.

Credit: SynDaver Lab

The prototype even has its own heartbeat and circulatory system made out of SynDaver Lab's in-house synthetic tissue.

"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," says Danielson.

Granted it's one of the creepiest-looking things you'll ever see—but it may just change veterinary medicine for the better.

Let's just hope the students can keep their lunches down while working on the uncanny thing.

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