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 October 21, 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 October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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