Capilé K, Campos G, Stedile R, Oliveira S. Canine prostate palpation simulator as a teaching tool in veterinary education. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 2015, 42(2): 146–50


Adult dogs, especially elderly ones, are commonly affected by prostate diseases. Performing rectal palpation during physical examination in dogs is important in small animal clinical diagnosis. Prostate palpation training allows students to learn how to correctly introduce the finger into the rectum and identify the location, size, symmetry, and consistency of the prostate. Alternative methods are needed to teach this technique without using live dogs. Thus, our aim was to develop a canine prostate palpation simulator to provide students with the opportunity to learn the prostate palpation technique in dogs and to assess their opinion of this simulator as a teaching tool. The inner part of the canine mannequin contains a rotation system with three types of prostates that can be exchanged during the exam. Of the 64 participating students, 81% had never used alternative methods and 92.2% had never performed any prostatic palpation. According to the students' opinions, performing a clinical examination on a simulator allowed them to be prepared and familiarized with the palpation technique. They felt satisfied learning a practical method in a harmless way. Both the 3R (replacement, reduction, and refinement) and dog welfare principles were present in most of the students' concerns. We conclude that the simulator can help students to develop clinical skills for prostate palpation in dogs.

Author's keywords: 3R principles; alternative model; animal welfare; humane education; reproductive tract

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