We evaluated the effectiveness of a pet visitation program in helping children and their families adjust to hospitalization on a pediatric cardiology ward. Thirty-one pet visits were observed and followed by interviews with patients and parents. Analysis of data suggested that pet visits relieved stress, normalized the hospital milieu, and improved patient and parent morale. The benefit received by the subjects correlated with the amount of physical contact and rapport developed with the visiting animal.
Behavioural problems are leading welfare issues in domestic dogs. In particular, anxiety-related behavioural problems, such as fearfulness and noise sensitivity are highly prevalent conditions that cause distress to fearful dogs. To better understand the environmental factors associated with non-social fear, including noise sensitivity, fear of novel situations, and fear of surfaces and heights, a large online survey including data on 13,700 Finnish pet dogs was performed by the dog owners. After fulfilling inclusion criteria, this data consisted of 9,613 dogs with fear of fireworks, 9,513 dogs with fear of thunder, 6,945 dogs with fear of novel situations, and 2,932 dogs with fear of surfaces and heights. Logistic regression analyses revealed that dogs with frequent non-social fear had experienced less socialisation during puppyhood, were more often neutered, had inexperienced owners, lived without conspecifics, participated less frequently in activities or training, and lived in more urban environments. In addition, we identified several breed differences, and a tendency of more common non-social fear in small dog breeds, which suggests a genetic background. Non-social fearfulness has a negative effect on well-being of the dogs. Our findings suggest that the socialisation and the living environment and the value of other dogs' company and owner interaction via activities and training may improve the well-being of the dogs.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether agility activity with dogs can be used to motivate less active children in physical activity and how such activity is experienced by parents and handlers. Data were collected through qualitative interviews with handlers and parents of the participating children. Agility with dogs appeared to motivate less active children to participate in, and endure, demanding physical activity. Joy and bonding with the dog appeared to be key elements in the motivational process. Motivation, initiation, and sustainment of activity over time are beneficial for children.
An epidemiological study was undertaken to elucidate factors associated with pet ownership. The study utilized questionnaires that were mailed to a systematic random sample of 700 households in the city of Guelph and Eramosa township. Reasons for ownership were analyzed by factor analysis while differences between owning and nonowning households were investigated using logistic regression. Sixty-five percent of dogs and 71% of cats were neutered. Only 2% of urban and 3% of rural dogs had never been vaccinated, compared to 12% and 17% for urban and rural cats. Families that included preschoolers were less likely to own pets, as were those from an urban area. The highest scoring reason for ownership was "companionship," followed by "love and affection" and for the "benefit of the children". The highest ranked reason for nonownership was "pets are a problem when I go away," followed by "I don't have enough time to devote to a pet" and "poor housing".
Cites: J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1975 Jun 1;166(11):1065-81133065
Cites: Vet Rec. 1981 Sep 5;109(10):197-97324342
Cites: Am J Vet Res. 1982 Jan;43(1):167-707091813
Cites: J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1984 Feb 15;184(4):481-26698884
Cites: Am J Vet Res. 1984 Feb;45(2):282-76711951
Cites: J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1984 Sep 15;185(6):687-906490495
Cites: J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1988 Oct 15;193(8):920-23192472
Cites: J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1975 Mar 1;166(5):481-61112753
Cites: Can Vet J. 1974 Aug;15(8):219-234411668
Cites: J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1974 Jan 15;164(2):166-714811896
Cites: J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1970 Feb 1;156(3):321-75461035
Cites: J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1977 Jun 1;170(11):1333-40863781
Cites: J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1980 Jan 15;176(2):143-97353990
Cites: J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1988 Dec 15;193(12):1490-13215806
Cites: Am J Vet Res. 1980 Nov;41(11):1798-8037212409
Cites: J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1980 Jun 1;176(11):1274-67429927
Four men, in the company of 16 dogs, skied for five weeks from Gåsefjord to Ellef Ringnes Land, North Canada. The expedition met with considerable unforeseen challenges such as extreme and prolonged cold, unmotivated Greenland dogs, and much pack ice. Psychological reactions were described and measured by a qualitative free text analysis and a test battery including GHQ-30 (General Health Questionnaire) and STAI State (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory) before, during, and after the expedition. Five main themes were found: external influences, relations between men and animals, progress and expectations, interpersonal relations, and thoughts at the end of the expedition. Negative emotional reactions were mostly present at the beginning of the expedition and were related to the environment and the pressure of perceived expectations from the outside world. Frustrations were enhanced by forced inactivity. Perceived essential positive elements were a strong group identity and friendship. The acceptance of dissension was low; the group strived to achieve consensus before decisions were made. The psychometric results showed more stress and anxiety immediately before the expedition than after. These parameters also increased significantly at the beginning of the expedition, then there was a reverse. The level of anxiety was higher in the two leaders. The expedition was concluded in an overall atmosphere of mutual affection, satisfaction, and pride.
The ultimate causes of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD) are not fully known, but environmental and occupational causes are suspected. Postencephalitic parkinsonism has been linked to influenza, and other viral infections have also been suspected to relate to PD. We estimated the relationship between PD and both infections and possible vectors of infection (i.e., animal and human) in a population-based, case-control study in British Columbia, Canada. We recruited 403 cases detected by their use of antiparkinsonian medications and 405 controls from the registrants of the provincial universal health insurance plan. Severe influenza was associated with PD (odds ratio [OR]: 2.01; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.16-3.48), although this effect was attenuated when reports were restricted to those occurring 10 or more years before diagnosis. Childhood illnesses were inversely associated with PD, particularly red measles (OR: 0.65; 95% CI: 0.48-0.90). Several animal exposures were associated with PD, with statistically significant effects for cats (OR: 2.06; 95% CI: 1.09-3.92) and cattle (OR: 2.23; 95% CI: 1.22-4.09). Influenza infection may be associated with PD. The inverse relationships with childhood infections may suggest an increased risk with subclinical or asymptomatic childhood infections. Occupational exposure to animals may increase risk through transmission of infections or may indicate exposure to another agent of interest (e.g., bacterial endotoxin).
Associations between selected allergens, phthalates, nicotine, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and bedroom ventilation and clinically confirmed asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and atopic dermatitis in preschool children.
Previous studies, often using data from questionnaires, have reported associations between various characteristics of indoor environments and allergic disease. The aim of this study has been to investigate possible associations between objectively assessed indoor environmental factors and clinically confirmed asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and atopic dermatitis. The study is a cross-sectional case-control study of 500 children aged 3-5 years from Odense, Denmark. The 200 cases had at least two parentally reported allergic diseases, while the 300 controls were randomly selected from 2835 participating families. A single physician conducted clinical examinations of all 500 children. Children from the initially random control group with clinically confirmed allergic disease were subsequently excluded from the control group and admitted in the case group, leaving 242 in the healthy control group. For most children, specific IgE's against various allergens were determined. In parallel, dust samples were collected and air change rates were measured in the children's bedrooms. The dust samples were analyzed for phthalate esters, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), nicotine, and various allergens. Among children diagnosed with asthma, concentrations of nicotine were higher (P
A mailed questionnaire survey was done to study dog-owners' knowledge of canine inherited diseases and the present screening and control programs in Finland, as well as to study the importance of health-related matters and well-being to dog-owners. The purpose was also to study the owners' role in programs and the influence of health and well-being in their decision-making process and choices when purchasing a puppy. This study showed that dog-owners highly valued health-related matters and well-being. The present programs were considered to have a positive effect on the prevention of canine inherited diseases. Dog-owners estimated that their own knowledge could be better but they believed in veterinarians' and dog-breeders' ability to inform them. Inherited skeletal and ocular diseases were thought to be important to canine well-being; the importance of other diseases or behaviour problems was assessed to be lower. In choosing a suitable breed, behaviour and temperament were the most-important factors but health-related matters were essential in actually choosing a puppy's breeder and the litter. Well-being and health were also considered very important to the image of the dog hobby.
Green care is a concept that involves the use of farm animals, plants, gardens or the landscape in cooperation with health institutions for different target groups of clients. The present study aimed at examining psychiatric therapists' (n = 60) and farmers' (n = 15) knowledge, experience and attitudes to Green care and animal-assisted therapy (AAT) with farm animals for people with psychiatric disorders. Most respondents had some or large knowledge about Green care, but experience with Green care was generally low in both groups. Both farmers and therapists believed that AAT with farm animals could contribute positively to therapy to a large or very large extent, with farmers being significantly more positive. Most of the therapists thought that AAT with farm animals contributes to increased skills in interactions with other humans, with female therapists being more positive than males. Two-thirds of the therapists believed that AAT with farm animals to a large extent could contribute better to mental health than other types of occupational therapy. There were no differences in attitudes to AAT between psychiatrists/psychologists and psychiatric nurses. This study confirms the marked potential of offering AAT services with farm animals for psychiatric patients by documenting positive attitudes to it among psychiatric therapists.