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January 06, 2009

No Surprise to Anyone Reading a Critter Blog

  Animals and Heart Failure Patients

From the American Journal of Critical Care:

Animal lovers probably don’t need to be told about the benefits of pet ownership, but Cole and colleagues show that even a short (12-minute) interaction with a dog can reduce cardiopulmonary pressures, neurohormones, and anxiety in patients with advanced heart failure. Do you allow pets in your ICU? Do you have a pet protocol? Consider the following:

  • Animal therapy can reduce patients’ blood pressure, heart rate, and fear of procedures.
  • In several clinical studies, animal therapy programs did not increase patients’ infection rates.
  • A recent article describes the habits of Oscar the Cat in identifying the end of life and providing companionship to those who would otherwise have died alone ( Dosa DM. A day in the life of Oscar the cat. N Engl J Med. 2007;357[4]:328–329)[Free Full Text] .
    See Article, pp 575–588

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