Dogs in medical research into heart function
Research into new heart medicines is being helped by these dogs. The dogs are exercised daily and trained to work with the researchers, by jumping onto weighing scales for example. Heart function is measured using ultrasound scanning, much like the scanning used to see the developing foetus in a pregnant women.
The ultrasound measurement is an good example of Refinement, 1) adopting non-invasive methods from human medicine to measure, in this case, cardiac output 2) using a conscious animal (versus an anesthetized animal) 3) minimizing animal distress to study procedures through a program of sling restraint training ( which this animal received but is not seen on the video) The objective of this study was to establish the best way to measure ultrasound for determining cardiac output. One of the variables examined in the study was the posture of the dog during imaging: either lying on its side on a table or standing while restrained in a sling. - it turned out that there was less variance in the data for the latter. A literature reference on this model is: G. Hanton, B. Geffray, A. Lodola. Echocardiography, a non-invasive method for the investigation of heart morphology and function in laboratory dogs: 1. Method and reference values for M-mode parameters. Laboratory Animals (1998) 32, 173-182.