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 April 16, 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 April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

AP (Apr. 14, 2014) Florida wildlife officials say they have killed five bears following an attack on a woman in a suburban subdivision in central Florida. Forty-five year-old Terri Frana was attacked by a large bear in her driveway Saturday. (April 14) 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