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The University of Edinburgh recently acquired a life-sized anatomical model of a horse. The inside is complete with inflatable latex intestines, which can be used to simulate the common and deadly condition of equine colic. This is a priceless tool in teaching future veterinarians how to identify and treat this fatal condition in horses.
The equine colic simulator model will help students at the University’s School of Veterinary Studies to familiarize themselves with the condition. Equine colic causes abdominal pain and is the leading cause of premature death in horses. The inflatable intestines will aid the students in learning how to assess the condition by allowing them to perform an internal examination of the horse’s intestines and sample for free fluid in their abdomen.
The model features representations of the horse’s digestive tract that can be inflated to simulate certain symptoms. The horse model also features the spleen, left kidney, and a replica pelvis for the students to explore. The model also has an area that allows for the students to do a “belly top” test, where a small incision is made into the belly of the horse to test whether there is an infection in the abdominal cavity or if the intestines have ruptured.
In addition to colic, the simulator can be used to identify reproductive problems. The horse simulator was developed by Dr. Emma Read at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. She designed the simulator to provide a safer and less stressful environment for the students.