Cat Dissection Skin Removal

The muscles of the cat are very similar in location, name, and function to those in the human body. We willstudy the cat muscles to better understand human musculature.

Laboratory cats are preserved with a mixture of alcohol, phenol, and formaldehyde. These preservatives may upset your nose and eyes, but they are necessary if your cat is to be preserved from the growth of fungi and bacteria. The preservatives also eliminate any germs the cats may have been carrying. You may protect your hands from the effect of the preservatives by wearing latex gloves. You may purchase gloves at the college bookstore.

It is important that you use proper laboratory technique during dissections:

1. Remember, the scalpel is sharp! If it will cut a cat, it will cut you. Even if it will not cut a cat, it will cut you! Do not cut toward yourself or your partners!

2. Remove and replace a scalpel blade according to the directions shown below. Avoid injuring yourself and others during this procedure.

3. Discard all solid waste including fat and hair into the trash cans.

4. Clean your laboratory table after use by washing it with alcohol first and then with "sloppy wet" paper towels. Dry your table.

5. Remove all cat fat and hair from the floor. Discard it into the trash cans. Do not wash the floor.

6. Clean all dissecting instruments and trays with soap and water and return them to the proper place.

7. Do not eat or drink while working on the cat.

8. Remember, the scalpel is sharp.

Some anatomical terms for four-legged animals are different from those used for humans. The terms ventral and dorsal refer to the belly and back respectively. The term caudad means toward the tail and cephalad means toward the head.

Removal of Scalpel Blade:

Grasp the scalpel blade from the back with your right hand.

Release the blade from the handle by pushing the bottom of the blade away from the handle with your left hand (#1).

Pull the blade carefully off of the handle (#2). Installation of Scalpel Blade:

Hold the blade from the back so that the angle at the end of the blade matches the angle on the handle.

Put the small end of the handle into the hole on the blade making sure that the blade fits into the grooves on the handle.

Carefully slide the blade down into place.

Objective Dissection

Exercise 15.1

Before you begin dissection, fill out the form below.

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