If you were not satiated by the severed dog head experiment of Sergei S. Bryukhonenko or his dead dog ressurection experiment, here is another one – a surgically created two-headed dog! Yes you just read it correctly and you are in no way in middle of a horror dream. Yet another Soviet scientist by the name of Vladimir Petrovich Demikhov was the man behind the creation, which some may consider utterly insane and inhumane. Nonetheless, he was the organ transplant pioneer and even head transplants. Let us learn 20 interesting Vladimir Petrovich Demikhov facts and find out what he did for humanity and how he created the two-headed dog.
Interesting Vladimir Petrovich Demikhov Facts: 1- 10
1. Born in Moscow on July 18, 1916, Vladimir Petrovich Demikhov read a letter in 1936 from Ivan P. Pavlov – a Russian Noble Prize winner. The letter titled “A Letter to Scientific Youth’ was actually intented to inspire young Russian students to puruse science even if the circumstances were gravely unfavorable.
2. Demikhov was very inspired by the letter and decided to carry on with his scientific pursuits despite living in the era of Stalin’s Great Purge.
3. With absolutely zero support for his work, Demikhov had to carry out his experiments during evenings or during the weekends. His interest was in organ transplant and on 30th June, 1946, he successfully pulled the first heart-lung transplant in a dog. The dog survived for 9 hours and 26 minutes.
4. A few months later in October 1946, he ended up with another successful similar transplant in another dog. This time, the dog managed to survive an additional 5 days.
5. While working on organ transplant, Vladimir Petrovich Demikhov had to connect and reconnect blood vessels for more than 700 times. During this phase, he learned how the vessels surrounding a heart react. Eventually on 29th July, 1953 he performed the first ever successful coronary artery bypass on an animal
6. The most insane of his nature-defying experiment was that of the creation of a two-headed dog during 1950s. This particular experiment inspired Dr. Robert White who then successfully conducted head transplants in monkeys.
7. In order to surgically create the two-headed dog, Demikhov used a small dog named Shavka and a bigger dog picked up from the streets. Demikhov named the bigger dog as Brodyaga.
8. In the experiment, Shavka’s (the small dog) head along with forepaws were grafted onto to Brodyaga’s back.
9. This operation involved three stages. The first stage was that of making an incision on the base of Brodyaga’s neck exposing a part of the spinal column, the aorta and the jugular vein. Once that was done, two holes were drilled into the bony part and two plastic string – a red one and a white one – were threaded through the two holes. This took precisely minutes to accomplish.
10. Shavka – the smaller dog was operated. After induced unconciousness, her head and torso were wrapped in a towel exposing only the shaved area in the middle.