Raveendran R. Virtual dog for demonstrating the cardiovascular effects of drugs [abstract]. ALTEX. 2005;22(Special Issue):20


Introduction: Dogs are used for undergraduate medical, dental, pharmacy and veterinary practical classes to demonstrate the effects of drugs on the blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR). This experiment can be replaced by simulating it on a computer using Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) software. Since CAL rather than the live experiment is sufficient to meet the objectives of a practical class, a CAL software to simulate the effects of drugs on dog BP and HR was developed.

Methods: The software (developed in VisualBasic for Windows) displays a simulated chart recorder on which the animated tracings of BP and HR are recorded continuously. The user can choose any drug (and the dose) from the list provided, administer it to the virtual dog and measure its effects on BP and HR. When the software is run under the “tutorial mode”, it allows the user to interactively test all the drugs in the list and observe their effects. In the “examination mode”, an unknown drug is given and the student is asked to find out its nature by comparing its effects with those of known drugs.

Discussion: The software can serve as a replacement for the dog experiment. Its design, user-friendliness and realistic simulation of drug effects will make it an acceptable alternative for the live experiment. Since the software is available free of cost, it will be useful for students and teachers who cannot afford similar, commercially available packages. The software will be demonstrated to the delegates.


Link to journal: ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation