Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Good Dog/Bad Dog: Geriatrician Notes Dangers Of Pet-Related Falls

Date:
March 27, 2009
Source:
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)
Summary:
"Falling all over" a pet usually refers to indulging or pampering a four-legged companion, but a new report shows that many Americans, particularly the elderly, are falling over their dogs and cats literally... and hurting themselves.

“Falling all over” a pet usually refers to indulging or pampering a four-legged companion, but a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that many Americans, particularly the elderly, are falling over their dogs and cats literally…and hurting themselves.

According to the CDC, more than 21,000 elderly Americans are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year for falls associated with their pet dogs and cats, and their injuries account for nearly one-fourth of all the fractures, contusions, sprains, and lacerations caused by falls associated with dogs and cats.

“Pets, particularly dogs and cats, can be wonderful companions that provide many health benefits for older adults,” said Dr. Thomas A. Cavalieri, a geriatrician and the dean of the UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine. “At the same time, falls are a particularly serious health hazard for the elderly. When an older person falls, there’s a one-in-three chance that the result will be a fracture, which could mean an extended period of convalescence or even permanent disability or premature death.”

Cavalieri noted that several studies have shown potential health benefits when older adults interact with pets. Walking a dog provides good cardiovascular exercise and having a pet in the house also appears to have a positive effect on blood pressure and stress. Pets can also ease the sense of loneliness that some elderly individuals experience, which helps to stave off bouts of depression. Some other studies have reported that individuals with Alzheimer’s disease were less agitated and more socially interactive when therapy dogs visited.

“Some pets, though, will present a hazard just because they are so attached to their owners,” Dr. Cavalieri warned. “A dog or cat that likes to nap at its owner’s feet can present a tripping hazard, especially for older individuals who have less of the strength and flexibility needed to ‘catch’ themselves when they begin to fall.”

Dr. Cavalieri offered these tips for helping to safeguard older friends and family members from pet-related falls:

  • Make sure pets – especially dogs – are obedience trained to walk calmly on a leash and to not jump on visitors.
  • Discourage pets from lying next to beds at night or at the foot of chairs.
  • Don’t leave pet toys in the middle of the floor.
  • If you have an older friend or relative with a dog, offer to go along on walks so that you can handle the leash.

The entire CDC report on pet-related falls is available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). "Good Dog/Bad Dog: Geriatrician Notes Dangers Of Pet-Related Falls." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090326181720.htm>.
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). (2009, March 27). Good Dog/Bad Dog: Geriatrician Notes Dangers Of Pet-Related Falls. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090326181720.htm
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). "Good Dog/Bad Dog: Geriatrician Notes Dangers Of Pet-Related Falls." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090326181720.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Parks officials in Stevens Point, Wisconsin had a fowl problem. Canadian Geese were making a mess of a park, so officials enlisted cardboard versions of man's best friend. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins