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Author Topic: Severed dogs head kept alive
TallGeekyGirl
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This video is not safe for animal lovers or those with weak stomaches.

This is a video I stumbled across last night. It appears to show a 40's-era Soviet experiment in artificual blood circulation and re-oxygenization. In it, a severed dog's head is shown hooked up to an apparatus that keeps it alive -- according to the narration -- "for hours" and reacting to all sensory stimuli.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5525466834025278904

Could this possibly be real? The other websites linked on the Google video page are very dubious, but the video itself seems authentic.

I don't want to believe it is (poor dog!), but it's just believable enough to be possible.

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Posts: 980 | From: Virginia | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Biggles
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I would love to find out more .. but I don't want to look. If only images could be scrubbed from the mind after viewing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_transplant

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Communication Attempt
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There was a thread about this last year,although I can't find it anymore

Like I said back then,it seems like they took a full living dog,put his head through the hole of a table and attached a bunch of gizmos and graphs and they taped it waking up and the "scientists" are commenting on how it came back to "life".For one thing we never see the back of the dog's head or exactly how the apparatus is attached to the "head"

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DeathLord
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quote:
Originally posted by Communication Attempt:
There was a thread about this last year,although I can't find it anymore

Here is it:
http://msgboard.snopes.com/message/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/76/t/001594/p/1.html

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Llewtrah
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There have been a lot of decapitation experiments with dogs' heads so I am inclined to believe it real. Dogs were readily available from shelters. I had a book that details some of them. Severed dogs' heads have been kept "alive" on an artifical circulatory/oxygenation system, but eventually suffered brain death. I don't think any survived beyond the 48 hour point (I think due to toxins in the blood).

In another experiment a puppy's head was transplanted on an adult dog, beneath the host's head. It was connected to the circulatory system only. The transplanted head was observed to drool, attempt to whimper, respond to stimuli etc, demonstrating the brain was alive and aware of its unnatural situation (though obviously not able to rationalise it). Around 36-48 hours, tissue rejection set in and the experiment was terminated.

In a further "refinement", a dog's brain was transplanted inside another dog (either into the abdomen or thorax) and hooked up to the blood circulation. Because the brain apparently enjoys an immunity to tissue rejection (not sure that I'd use the term "enjoy"), it remained "alive" inside the host until the host experienced problems. The author speculated on what sort of existence the brain had in terms of thought processes once disconnected from sense organs. Insanity or mental shutdown is my guess.

Later on, there were similar experiments with monkeys. In the most successful one, a head transplant remained alive on the decapitated host body, although the body was paralysed as the spinal cord could not be connected up. In other experiments, the brain was kept temporarily alive in suspension outside of a cranium and on circulatory support. Brain activity was monitored. Again, one was invited to consider the sort of existence the brain was aware of.

Considering the above, the apparatus in the link might be obscured because that aspect of the experiment was secret. The scientists would want to advertise their "success" without giving aware too much about the methods.

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Aptenodytes_Forsteriis
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Looks fake but there is no reason it couldn't be done as long as you were quick enough to connect the pump to the carotid and jugular. I wouldn't call it 'reviving' since you would really be keeping it alive. Of course any bastard who tries this on me or my dog is going to need major surgery.

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Vesta
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quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah:
There have been a lot of decapitation experiments with dogs' heads so I am inclined to believe it real. Dogs were readily available from shelters. I had a book that details some of them. Severed dogs' heads have been kept "alive" on an artifical circulatory/oxygenation system, but eventually suffered brain death. I don't think any survived beyond the 48 hour point (I think due to toxins in the blood).

In another experiment a puppy's head was transplanted on an adult dog, beneath the host's head. It was connected to the circulatory system only. The transplanted head was observed to drool, attempt to whimper, respond to stimuli etc, demonstrating the brain was alive and aware of its unnatural situation (though obviously not able to rationalise it). Around 36-48 hours, tissue rejection set in and the experiment was terminated.

That was in Mary Roach's Stiff, no? IIRC, the puppy even bit the other (Very confused.) dog on the ear playfully.

Vesta

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Syllavus
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Just the way the film clip has been produced makes me think that it's not a genuine documentary clip, and instead is something deliberately set up and filmed to look like a documentary. It just seems too produced to be a documentary, the settings don't look genuine, nor do the instruments being used. Also the placement of the dog's head is suspicious since its body could have obviously been hidden from that position. You'd think if they wanted to show an impressive film clip of an obviously decapitated dog's head, they'd have shown it from an angle that proved beyond a doubt that the head was indeed decapitated. I think if we were capable of decapitating a dog, then keeping it's head alive through artificial means in the 1940's, that it would be a well-established fact by now. Of course I could be completely wrong, and I admit that I'm no expert in terms of the fields of medicine, but that's just my immediate reaction after viewing the clip. I just find it very hard to believe that in the 1940's, doctors succeeded in decapitating a dog, keeping the head alive long enough to direct all the necessary veins and arteries to that apparatus without the brain being damaged beyond repair, and to make that whole device and setup work. Just my two cents.

ETA: Well as I said, I'm hardly an expert, but the Wikipedia entry seems to show that "dog decapitation" experiments were well documented and real. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experiments_in_the_Revival_of_Organisms I suppose nowadays it would be (I think?) illegal to conduct such experiments on dogs (because of animal cruelty laws), which is probably why it is not something that the average non-medical person would know about. Llewtrah, do you have any more information you can offer from your book? I find this both fascinating and a bit horrifying at the same time. Horrifying for the poor dogs, but fascinating because I was unaware that we had the technology to do such things even now, nevermind so many years ago.

ETA: Another webpage which discusses the severed dog head phenomenon. http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2006/02/a_brief_history.html

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mags
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quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah:
Later on, there were similar experiments with monkeys. In the most successful one, a head transplant remained alive on the decapitated host body, although the body was paralysed as the spinal cord could not be connected up.

I saw a video of a monkey after his head transplant a few years ago. The monkey was awake and clearly aware: he tried to bite one of the researchers when they got close enough to his mouth. I figured it served them right. His eyes followed them with clear intelligence, and although I'm probably anthropomorphizing, hatred.
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