ERJ staff report (BC)
Edinburgh, UK – Veterinary students will be better prepared to tackle a common, painful – and potentially lethal – condition in horses by practising on the first life-size equine model of its kind in the UK.
The anatomical model will enable students at the University of Edinburgh to improve their diagnosis of colic, which affects many horses during their lifetime and can be life-threatening.
The equine simulator at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (RDSVS) contains large intestines and other organs made of latex.
These can be inflated to different degrees to help familiarise students with the condition.
The model, which was recently developed by Veterinary Simulator Industries in close collaboration with Dr Emma Read of the University of Calgary, has been imported from Canada.
The simulator enables students to practice performing internal examination of a horse's intestines and sampling for free fluid in the abdomen.
It also has the potential to help students develop their ability to identify reproductive problems in mares.
Dr Catriona Bell, senior lecturer in veterinary education at RDSVS, said: “The realistic attributes of these models will allow students to learn and then refine their basic dexterity and practical skills before undertaking the procedures on live animals. This is not only safer and less stressful for the students, but is also importantly a more welfare-friendly way of learning.”
The simulator was recently purchased, along with other animal teaching models through the School’s Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education.
The Centre, which is an integral part of RDSVS, was established in 2011 through a £2m (€2.36m) donation from the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust to improve the well-being of animals worldwide.
This includes seeking alternatives to the use of animals in teaching and research.
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