Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - 52

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Section I
When University of Pennsylvania researchers studied a group of seriously ill heart patients, they found that pet owners had much better
survival records. In the year the study lasted, the death rate for patients
who did not own pets was 28 percent, whereas pet owners had a death
rate of 6 percent.10
A study in the December 15, 1995, issue of the American Journal
of Cardiology found that dog owners, in particular, were significantly
less likely to die within 1 year of a heart attack, compared with heart
attack survivors who did not own dogs.11
Other studies have documented that petting a dog or cat lowers
blood pressure in patients with hypertension and that older people
show improved alertness when caring for a pet. Pets often seem to be
especially valuable for some people experiencing major life changes,
such as unemployment, illness, or the loss of a loved one.12
A study published in the April 1999 edition of the journal AIDS
Care found that people with AIDS who have pets are less likely to suffer from depression than are people with AIDS who do not own pets.
Several studies have also demonstrated that pet owners tend to have
lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels than do non-pet owners
and are, therefore, at a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease.13
A study published in the March 1999 Journal of the American Geriatrics
Society showed that "senior citizens who own pets are less likely to be depressed, are better able to tolerate social isolation, and are more active than
those who do not own pets."14

pets for the elderly
H. Ellen Whiteley, DVM, in an article in the Saturday Evening Post, states,
"Pets help keep us young: they decrease loneliness, and they give us the opportunity to be needed. Pets also offer a healthier lifestyle by stimulating us
to exercise while we take care of them."
Dr. Whiteley continues, "The elderly may benefit the most. At a time in
their lives when they have returned to depending on others, they need to feel
a sense of responsibility. Pets fulfill this need because they depend on their
owners for care and attention. In return, the pets offer love and unqualified
approval."15
Studies also indicate that pets can have a beneficial effect on the disabled. Dogs can be trained to perform numerous tasks, including opening
and closing doors, turning switches on and off, pulling wheelchairs, carrying
packages, and assisting individuals who are blind. See Figure 3-6. Dogs have
also been trained to predict seizures before they occur and/or assist a person
during or following a seizure, and to perform tasks to assist or lessen the
psychiatric disabilities of the disabled person.
Research is currently being conducted and dogs trained to detect several
types of cancer, including lung, skin, prostate, breast, ovarian, colon, and
bladder. Researchers believe the dogs may be picking up on subtle changes
in certain volatile organic compounds in the breath that may change when
cancer is present.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition

Contents
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Cover1
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Cover2
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - iii
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - iv
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Contents
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - vi
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