Amazed or not ready to believe?
Shocking tow headed dog surgery took place in Russia during the cold war period. And the ongoing competition between the United Socialist Soviet Russia and the United States of America was a vital driver of these experiments and inventions. The notorious Russian surgeon Vladimir Demikhov immensely contributed to this surgery with his excellent knowledge and skills in coronary surgery and organ transplant.
The father of heart and lung transplant
The South African cardiac surgeon Christiaan Neethling Barnard had honoured Vladimir Demikhov as the pioneer and father of heart and lung transplants. Vladimir Demikhov successfully completed the world’s first coronary artery bypass operation on a warm-blooded creature. However, his best experiment becomes none other than his two-headed dog surgery. With the influence of this great Russian surgeon Vladimir Demikhov, Dr. Robert White conducted successful head transplants in monkeys.
Vladimir Demikhov dog experiments
Most of the experiments that Demikhov projected were on dogs. He was curious to explore how long dogs were able to live without some organs. He has replaced several organs with new organs to check whether they can survive in the given conditions.
Vladimir Demikhov dog surgeries
As a surgeon, his reputation started to spread worldwide with his unusual experiment with combining two dogs. He was capable of surgeries on transplanting the head or half the body. His publication of “surgical combination of two animals with the creation of a single circulation” describes his findings in the Russian Language.
Vladimir Demikhov’s two-headed dog surgery
The surgery took place in the A. A. Bogomolets Physiology Institute’s reanimation lab of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in 1968. Demikhov had chosen the head and upper body of a two-month-old puppy and a four-year-old mongrel Mukhtar for the two-headed dog surgery.
What happened in this surgery was transplanting the puppy’s head onto the neck of the mongrel Mukhtar. In this surgery, the lower body of the puppy was amputated, keeping only its heart and lungs. Then Demikhov combined the blood supplies of both animals. He had used a thread and a needle to sew the blood vessels together. Further, he had used plastic strings to join the vertebrae. This creature shocked the world as they could drink and walk as well.
Why the two-headed dogs died?
As a whole, all the dogs that Demikhov used for his transplanting experiments died as a result of a lack of immunosuppressive drugs. Despite the short period of survival of the small animal, this new creature survived 38 days after the surgery. The images showed how the smaller dog lapped up liquid. Sadly, it was not connected to the bigger animal’s stomach. Therefore, the water it drank did not reach the stomach but flew out of the tube onto the floor. After their death, the stuffed dead bodies were placed in Riga’s Museum of History of Medicine.
Vladimir Demikhov as a scientist
Some people around the world refused to accept the works of this Russian scientist. Instead, they disgusted his extraordinary experiments with animals. But he became famous for his inventions, and he presented his dissertation on The transplantation of vital organs in the experiment. Further, his studies led him to achieve the founder status of the following essential experiments.
Remarkable milestones of the doctor
1937 – first cardiac assist device (artificial heart)
1946 – first heart-lung transplant
1947 – first lung transplant
1948 – first liver transplant
1951 – first orthotopic (correctly positioned) heart transplant
1952 – first mammary–coronary anastomosis
1953 – first successful experimental coronary artery bypass operation
1954 – first head transplant
Read our other articles about animals here