Synthetic Dog For Research: Synthetic Cadaver Dogs Designed To Save Real Canines From Surgical Experiments

Heather Tooley

A synthetic dog invention could save real canines from research in labs. At least, it seems possible with the advent of a synthetic cadaver canine by SynDaver Labs in Tampa, Florida. The company is hoping to save the lives of thousands of shelter dogs by introducing this alternative.

According to ABC Action News, many unwanted shelter dogs aren't euthanized. Instead, they're sent to a lab for testing and surgery training before ultimately being put down. This is referred to as "terminal surgery labs."

There's a better solution, according to SynDaver. With the recent unveiling of the world's first synthetic dog, the company says no lab should require the use of a real dog again.

— Science Channel (@ScienceChannel) June 6, 2016

There are still a number of veterinary colleges that have students performing surgeries on shelter dogs. SynDaver's Synthetic Canine might be the answer in ending this practice. Several pluses come with a synthetic cadaver dog, such as replaceable parts and a variety of illnesses and diseases students can solve (cancer in an organ, foreign objects lodged in the animal, etc.). Forty different "surgeries" have been conducted so far on a synthetic dog, a creation that required 10 patents.

SynDaver collaborated with the University of Florida on developing the synthetic cadaver dog, which costs $28,500.

Since the invention is so costly, SynDaver started a crowdfunding campaign to raise $24 million in an effort donate them to veterinary colleges throughout the U.S.

— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) June 2, 2016

Sakezles explains that the synthetic cadaver looks, feels, and bleeds like a real-life dog. His hope is that colleges worldwide will experiment on the synthetic cadaver canine soon.

"If we grow SynDaver organically we can get into every vet school maybe within the decade," Sakezles says. "But if we're successful in our fundraising, we can make it happen practically overnight. We'll be able to provide up to 20 canines to practically every accredited veterinary college in the world, saving tens of thousands of animals in the process."

Dr. Sakezles reveals that if this fake dog creation proves successful, a synthetic canine is next.

The Tampa-based SynDaver Labs was founded in 2004. It's already established in the synthetic human cadaver business. It faces no other competition for the synthetic dog creation, Sakezles says.

SynDaver has its crowdfunding site on IndieGoGo. The company has a goal to reach of $24,000,000 and has met just over $10,000 so far in donations. It has 90 days to come up with the money, which will help make the synthetic cadaver dog available to colleges around the U.S.

To many animal lovers and advocates, this is a great alternative to the needless experimentation and killing of unwanted dogs. Although the same dogs may still never find homes and eventually be euthanized, they're spared the trauma and pain associated with surgery testing.

[Image via Shutterstock]