Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - 54

Section I

Courtesy of Soldier's Best Friend

54

Pet therapy can help heal symptoms
of depression, fatigue, pain, stress, and anxiety
that many returning veterans of foreign service
experience.

Figure 3-7

(Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). This amounts to about 300,000 to
400,000 people in the U.S.17
PTSD is primarily treated with psychotherapy, if it is treated at
all. However, an emerging field for the treatment of PTSD is animal
therapy.18
Research on the effects of pet owning and animal interaction indicates positive health results. Interacting with animals is correlated with
improved mood, lower blood pressure, a drop in the stress hormone cortisol, increases in the positive mood hormone serotonin, and positive
lifestyle changes, such as increase in exercise, responsibility, and socializing. These same results can be seen with veterans. Further, when
animals are specifically trained to interact with veterans with PTSD,
the results are amplified.19 See Figure 3-7.
Symptoms of PTSD usually start within three months of a traumatic
event, but in some cases symptoms may appear several years after the event.
Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks or relieving the event, dreams
of the event, avoiding thinking or talking about the event, feelings of being
numb, hopelessness, memory problems, trouble concentrating, and difficulty maintaining close relationships. Other symptoms include irritability or
anger, feelings of guilt or shame, self-destructive behavior such as drinking
too much, trouble sleeping, being easily startled or frightened, or hearing
or seeing things that aren't there. Pet therapy helps to heal symptoms of
depression, fatigue, pain, stress, and anxiety. Pets help bring out feelings of
love, make good companions, are fun, and are a good reason to get out of the
house, spend time outdoors, and meet new people.



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
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - vii
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - viii
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