Low cost SimSpay - model for training of small animal ovariectomy and ovariohysterectomy

Scope of the method

The Method relates to
  • Animal health
The Method is situated in
  • Education and training
Type of method
  • Other


Method keywords
  • veterinary medicine
  • skillslab training
  • SimSpay
  • ovariectomy
  • ovariohysterectomy
  • cat
  • Dog
Scientific area keywords
  • Veterinary education
  • clinical training
  • Preclinical model
Method description

In the skillslab, dummy models and simulators are used for teaching various clinical skills. Small animal ovariectomy and ovariohysterectomy are important and commonly performed procedures in small animal veterinary practice. An important part of this training process can be performed on a home-made model in the skillslab.

Lab equipment

See attached publication and adapted instructions we have created for our students. The students make the model at home and bring it to the skillslab.

Method status
  • History of use
  • Published in peer reviewed journal

Pros, cons & Future potential


The use of educational animal models in a skillslab offers a number of significant advantages:

  • - Reduced use of laboratory animals and reduced discomfort for patients, as procedures can be practised on dummy models and simulators before performing them on a live animal.
  • - Teaching of clinical skills in a quiet and safe environment, reducing anxiety and stress for the veterinary student.
  • - Complex practical skills can be split into a number of small steps when practising them in the skillslab. When performing these elective surgical procedures, the model cannot be re-used. Therefore, a low-cost model made at home by the student works well in our skillslab as we work with a large number of students.
  • - Clinical training on live animals needed as well.
  • - Creating the model, although the instructions are quite clear, is quite time-consuming for inexperienced students. However, this process also helps them to repeat the anatomical knowledge they have obtained during earlier courses.

Further optimalisation of home-made models and purchasing available commercial models.

Future & Other applications

Training for lab animal surgical procedures.

References, associated documents and other information


Langebæk R, Toft N, Eriksen T. The SimSpay-Student Perceptions of a Low-Cost Build-It-Yourself Model for Novice Training of Surgical Skills in Canine Ovariohysterectomy. J Vet Med Educ. 2015 Summer;42(2):166-71. doi: 10.3138/jvme.1014-105. Epub 2015 May 7. PMID: 25862402.

Associated documents
Instructies SimSpay maken.pdf

Contact person

Annelies Decloedt


Ghent University (UGent)
Veterinary skillslab