‘Breeding Bonny’ Could Help Students With Reproductive Exams

Researchers recently tested an equine gynecological exam simulator for its suitability in veterinary training programs.
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Vet school is going high-tech. First scientist introduced the joint injection simulator. Then came the jugular vein puncture simulator. And recently, European researchers have tested “Breeding Bonny,” an equine gynecological exam simulator developed in Australia, for its suitability in veterinary training programs.

“For animal welfare reasons, the training of veterinary students on live animals is seen in increasingly critical light, not only by the general public, but also by veterinarians, including myself,” said Christine Aurich, DVM, PhD, head of the Graf Lehndorff Institute for Equine Science, in Neustadt, Germany, and professor at Vetmeduni Vienna’s Centre for Artificial Insemination and Embryo Transfer, in Vienna, Austria.

“The Breeding Bonny dummy is quite close to a real horse with regard to gynecological examinations,” Aurich said. “It can substitute the first three to four training sessions on horses, meaning less work for teaching animals and better prepared students at the time they have to examine a live horse for the first time.”

Before a dummy can be used in a classroom, it has to first be fully evaluated to be sure it works as a reliable teaching tool. So Aurich and colleagues investigated the learning effects of different training styles on 25 third-year veterinary students divided into three groups. The first group received four training lessons on a live mare. The second group received only one training lesson on a live mare. The third group received three training lessons using Breeding Bonny. Afterwards, all the students were tested on palpation and rectal ultrasound skills on a live mare

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Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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