We get Bill today - page 2

Bill the Cat, that is. I've been up part of the night just dreading Anatomy class today.:stone Please, someone tell me that there is educational merit in dissecting a cat in a human anatomy class,... Read More

  1. by   Nurse Ratched
    We messed around with a frog in physiology - muscle stimulation/fatigue. Didn't have to do the dissection thing in anatomy. Honestly don't think it would have bothered me altho I don't see a whole lot of point in it (we're not going to be surgeons.)
  2. by   suzy253
    Ugh...hated it, hated it, hated it. I have 5 cats at home. When we were 'given' our cats I asked our instructor specifically not for one that looked like one of mine (i.e. orange, tiger striped, etc.). My instructor was a doll. She knew I was having a very hard time with this. She always came around to ask me how I was doing. My partner and I put papertowels over the face and also covered the paws...made it a bit better for me to deal with and I had to try not to look at other lab cats that were being dissected. Somehow I managed to get thru it...skinning it was horrible. My partner did all that..and once you get to the inner bits it stops looking so much like a cat. But if you have a problem, I recommend you cover up the head and feet if you need to.
    Good luck!
  3. by   MonkeyRN
    My second day of A&P lab we dissected a fresh rat that the instructor put in ether just 30 minutes before. At first I wouldn't touch it but then I got over it. At the end of the semester we did a brain, sheep's eye and fetal pig. I understood then why she had us do the fresh rat. All the organs were the colors they were supposed to be and much easier to identify, everything was a greyish color in the pig. Several of the pig's organs were different than human so I didn't really see the point in dissecting it and didn't feel I gained much from it.
  4. by   DC2RN
    I dissected a cat in undergrad and cadavers in grad school. The cats are so much worse to dissect than the cadavers.
  5. by   kids
    Quote from JKCMom
    Thank you everyone for your input. Two hours until school. I'm not exactly a cat lover (not a cat hater either), I just question the true educational value of this macabre event. I don't see how cutting up a dead cat will help me care for live humans someday. Hopefully I'll be enlightened by the end of the day!
    I am a big time cat lover. Much to my anti-cat husband's horror I usually average 8-10, he is happy that I am down to only 4...for now. I didn't have a problem dissecting "our" cat (cat...also named Bill), probably because he was dead. We were told ours came from a medical supplier and that they were obtained (by the supplier) after being euthanized at shelters.

    Cats may be a completely different species but the muscle types & attachment & organ placement are very similar. The vascular system of our cats had also been injected with latex; blue for veins, red for arteries.

    Anyway, it was a lot of help to me in that it helped me make sense of the textbooks explainations & photos, then again, I am a very hands on person.
    The school switched to a single cadavar the following year. All of the disection was done by the instructor with the students observing. I know for me it would not have been much of a learning experience, as I said, I am a hands on learner.

    If the school hasn't already mentioned it and if they don't supply them I highly recommend picking up a cheap set of dental picks & probes. They are a big help when it comes to isolating muscles and manipulating the small bits.
  6. by   Altra
    Quote from JKCMom
    Please, someone tell me that there is educational merit in dissecting a cat in a human anatomy class, and this isn't just some sort of sick right of passage!
    There's educational merit in dissecting a cat.

    I'm a cat lover - see my sig line - and I can't say I was thrilled about the prospect but it is DEFINITELY a worthwhile experience. Having done it, I don't see how you could get the same benefit from computer simulations or other alternatives. You need to feel different tissues and see how they "behave."

    I agree with previous posters 1) it helps to cover up the head or at least avoid looking at the face and 2) make sure the person doing the cutting isn't overly scissor-happy.

    Hope things go OK for you - let us know!
  7. by   Jill1215
    The absolute worst thing about dissection is the SMELL! The chemicals stink BAD! My best advice is to get the vicks vapo rup for under your nose. It was horrible to me.

    Jill
  8. by   Roseyposey
    Well, I got through it. I helped skin it and everything. It was a big orange male, and its veins and arteries had been injected. We'll be dragging it out for the next four weeks or so. I wish I could get the smell out of my nose; I went on break with the smokers just to get a different smell. There'll be no meat on the dinner table tonight!
  9. by   RNNoMore
    I was dreading this too - I got so worked up I was actually shaking by the time I got to college - then found a notice on the lab door saying the instructor was sick and class had been cancelled - phew!!! I spent the next few days thinking about it, and was far calmer when class came round again. I'm an animal lover, and hated the thought of these cats being killed just for dissection purposes. Some of the cats were pregnant, and others were mere kittens, which was horrible However....me being me, I decided to jump in at the deep end and volunteered to do the dissecting.

    Our cat was whole and shared between 3 of us. The first job was to cut it open, remove the omentum and then rinse the abdominal cavity under the tap. This was just too yucky, but so bizarre (washing a dead cat) that the humour of it overcame the yuckiness. Trying to fit a stiff, rigor-morticed cat into the tiny lab sinks proved to be quite an art! Our cat reeked of formaldehyde, so we called our smelly cat 'Phoebe' in honour of her famous song. Anyway, things got better as the dissection progressed over the next 3 weeks - the interest overcame the disgust and we learned a lot. I drew sketches of the cat, which helped me remember the anatomy. Of course, the first thing I did when I got home was get straight in the shower....and I often couldn't face eating dinner that night, I swear the smell of formaldehyde stuck to me for days afterwards!

    Later on in the course we got a cadaver to study, but we were not allowed to dissect it ourselves, just move parts around a bit. I was very impressed by the respect shown to the cadaver, and felt very thankful that this lady was so gracious as to donate her body for our education. I found the cadaver much less upsetting than the cat, because the person had volunteered her body, although there were students who couldn't face it and had to leave the room - these students were treated with understanding by our professor.

    I still believe that you could learn just as much from watching a video or internet website dissection, and do not agree that actual dissection of a cat is vital to an understanding of anatomy at our level of education, but I got through it - and you will too

    Best wishes, Paint.
  10. by   sunshinenor
    My cat was sent to me at my house via UPS, in a big white box...no labels or anything, and I wasn't expecting it yet....so when I opened the box, my 4 yr old and his friend were right there helping me open it....then they both just gasped when they saw the cat, I about died and immediately shut the box....My son asked me, "Mom did that cat scratch up your furniture too????" It was very hard to keep a straight face...

    Mel
  11. by   jaymee77
    one thing that really helps on the cat thing is tomato tape...buy some and tie it on the muscles you're reqired to know and use it to label things it doesn't get soggy like string and isn't poky like needles. it was a life saver for our group. i found the grossest to be the eyes in the second half they were nasty. but the cat doesn't particularly even look like a cat with its odd posture and scary lookin face. we had our kitties for 2 quarters, looked in on a cadaver and then did brains, eyes, hearts and kidneys. i really thought it was educational i had never touched a brain before...kinda like a mushroom.
  12. by   wonderbee
    Quote from sunshinenor
    My cat was sent to me at my house via UPS, in a big white box...no labels or anything, and I wasn't expecting it yet....so when I opened the box, my 4 yr old and his friend were right there helping me open it....then they both just gasped when they saw the cat, I about died and immediately shut the box....My son asked me, "Mom did that cat scratch up your furniture too????" It was very hard to keep a straight face...

    Mel
    :uhoh21:
  13. by   Rhoresmith
    The smell got to me the flamadahyde (sure not spelled right) we put vicks vapor rub under our noses and that helped allot. All of our cats looked like they were sick, many had tumors so that made me feel better although I am not a cat person (allergic). Have fun with Bill all semester !!!!!!!!!!!!
    Rhonda

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