The Museum of Veterinary Anatomy currently has just over a thousand specimens. Formed over the years as a result of research, education, donations and exchanges, it is composed of skeletons, stuffed animals, organs and anatomical structures of various vertebrates. The vast majority of pieces are mammals, with among these representatives water, flying, marsupials, carnivores, rodents, equine, bovine, swine and primates, including humans. In addition, there are didactic models for teaching anatomy.
The anatomical study is important to medical fields and depends in large part of the dissection of animals dying from disease or natural causes. The specimens thus obtained and conserved are essential to study, research and developing preservation techniques. In the case of bones and skeletons, we use specific techniques, known as osteotechniques. For the dry specimen conservation, for example, it is necessary to macerate the soft tissues for thorough cleaning of the bones which are then bleached, degreased and left to dry. When dry, the bones can be stored individually or they may be assembled into skeletons. We may also use other preparations, such as decalcification and diaphanization.
To study the heart, after dissection, which consists in separating or exposing parts of the body of an animal, there are different techniques for preparation and storage. The technique is chosen according to the study that we wish to develop, for example:
- Maintenance of shape and appearance of the heart: fixation;
- Study of the cavities of the heart: modeling;
- Study of internal structures by transparency: diaphanization;
- Study of the distribution of vessels in organs: vascular injection associated with dissection, diaphanization or corrosion.
Massive organs and tissues are generally prepared by dissection and fixation. In the kidney, the number of blood vessels can be demonstrated by injection of latex. And the subsequent corrosion of the tissue results in a delicate plastic structure that indicates the large amount of capillaries in the body. Hollow organs such as stomach and intestine, can be kept dry. Lungs can also be kept dry. The bronchial tree that reaches the lungs can be demonstrated by injection of latex.