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  • Breeding leeches

    In the first half of the XIX century.because of the increased predatory yield, medical leeches practically disappeared from the reservoirs. As a result, the artificial cultivation of curative worms - the leech-breeding - has spread.

    We raised leeches both in handicraft conditions and on an industrial scale. Were created farms for breeding worms, which were in great demand in hospitals and clinics, as well as in educational institutions that have medical and zoological departments and faculties. At that time leeches were bred in ordinary ponds in the open air.

    At present, medical worms are bred in special farms-laboratories, which have artificial reservoirs( concrete basins with stepped walls or ponds), imitating the natural habitat of worms.

    The main requirement for water, which contains leeches, is its purity.

    Reservoirs should be well lit by the sun, on their day are laid out piles of stones, which leeches use as houses.

    Feeds medical leeches with large clots of fresh blood, which is purchased at slaughterhouses. In this case, blood is taken only from healthy animals( mainly large and small cattle, as well as pigs).

    After the leeches reach a certain mass( 1.5-2 g), they stop feeding them to make them suitable for medical procedures. Some of the individuals are used for reproduction.

    Artificially grown leeches develop much faster than those under natural conditions, and in no way inferior to them in terms of quality. In ordinary reservoirs, leeches grow to a "curative" state only 3 years after they leave the cocoon. In vaginal households, this period is reduced to 1 - 1.5 years. In the 1920's.in Russia was created the world's first bdell-logic laboratory. As a result of numerous studies, a system of rules for breeding, keeping, storing and transporting leeches was developed.

    Leeches, reached the reproductive state and the required size, are called uterus.

    After the mating season, which lasts for about 1 month, leeches are planted by queen cells. The motherhood is a terrarium capacity, in which natural conditions are simulated, combining the presence of land and water. The bottom of the mother liquor is lined with moist peat soil, on which the moss turf is laid, which contributes to the regulation of its moisture content. Leeches first break a shallow course in the soil, which is on land, and lay cocoon with eggs in it. After a while, the cocoons are transferred from the queen cells to the water. From the eggs later develop the filaments of small young leeches, whose length is only 7-8 mm, and weight - about 0.03 g. The filaments, as well as adults, are fed with fresh blood of animals.

    In the cold season, worms are transferred to winter storage in cool rooms. For this, they are placed in containers containing a moistened mixture of peat and earth.

    Top with leeches closed with clean cloth and tied.

    During this period leeches are buried in the ground and fall into a stupor until the spring. If necessary, they are removed from the container and placed in a warm environment, after which the worms are quickly activated and become suitable for use in medical procedures.

    To keep leeches used only clean containers, previously thoroughly washed. During the storage of leeches, the water in the tank must be periodically changed. In this case, leeches are not extracted. In the process of changing the water and cleaning the container, you should also gently wash the leeches, as they are prone to molting. If this is not done, then the old sheath( cuticle) may over time pull the leech and lead to a violation of its circulation.

    In addition, the mucus secreted by leeches should be cleaned from the inside of the container. Water with floating leeches in it can be gently poured into another vessel. The main container must be rinsed, filled with clean water. After this, the leeches are carefully returned to the place. At the end of the procedure, the container is closed with a cloth and tightly tied.

    With a conservative approach, the main condition for preserving the medicinal properties of leeches is quality water, and preferably from a natural body of water. Do not use boiled or distilled water. Tap water, before placing leeches in it, you must first let it settle, then pass it through special cleaning filters.

    Another important condition for proper conservation is maintaining the necessary temperature and lighting environment in which leeches are placed. The optimum temperature is room. Lack of heat, like its excess, adversely affect the state of leeches.

    Because leeches are amphibians and often crawl out of the water, air purity is very important for their maintenance. Therefore, in the premises where they are, fragrances of perfumery, medical preparations, tobacco, chemical mixtures, etc. are unacceptable. It is necessary to regularly ventilate the places of their storage.

    Lighting should be sufficient, but not direct solar or artificial.

    In all institutions involved in the production and storage of leeches, their daily inspection is practiced. In the event that unhealthy individuals are found, appropriate measures are immediately taken to prevent the spread of the disease. Sick and dead leeches are removed from the container in which they were stored, and the container itself is sanitized. When processing, chemical disinfectants can not be used, since impurities in water( even in very small concentrations) can adversely affect the state of leeches. Therefore, mainly hot water and heat treatment are used.

    Patients in scientific research establishments use for development of methods of treatment of leech diseases, which have been discovered to date by a lot.

    Leeches fairly well tolerate transportation on cars, trains and even airplanes. To transport leeches are placed in a bag with moistened peat soil, which is put in any container that is convenient for transportation.