What is Animal Assisted Therapy? (Part 2 of 3)

Animal Assisted Therapy part 2

Patients Needing Therapy

Patients who usually receive therapy with the help of animals are patients who generally have mental disorders or patients with long medical treatment. However, it is not limited to that, some of which are as follows:

• Children who will undergo dental treatment;
• Patients undergoing cancer therapy;
• Patients being treated for chronic heart failure;
• Stroke patients or patients requiring return of motor skills;
• Patients with cardiovascular disease;
• Patients with dementia;
• Veterans with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder);
• Patients with anxiety disorders;
• Patients with long-term treatment.

Some people cannot get animal assisted therapy from furry animals such as cats or dogs generally, for several reasons:

• Have asthma;
• Have allergies to certain animal dander;
• Have an unexplained respiratory allergy;
• Immunosuppressive disorders.

Animals That Can Help Therapy

Animals that can be used to help with this therapy are many and unlimited, however, they must meet requirements such as animal training and cleanliness.
Animals will be first cleaned, vaccinated, trained, and selected based on their behavior.
This is done so that therapy with the help of these animals becomes more effective. Some animals that can help and are commonly used in this therapy are:

• Dog;
• Cat;
• Fish;
• Dolphins
• Guinea Pigs;
• Horses;
• Goat;
• Cockatoo.
Even so, certain animals that are most widely used to assist healing therapy are dogs, cats and horses.

Preparation Before Therapy

The patient will be recommended by the doctor, if it is thought that animal-assisted therapy will help advance treatment.
The therapist will bring the animal to the patient, during each appointment or after the treatment period and direct the interaction between the animal and the patient.
There are several inspection steps that will be carried out on animals, such as:
• Selection of animals and organizations that provide animal-assisted therapy services. Before starting therapy, the team that must be examined first meets the requirements.
• Animals are physically checked and immunized, to ensure that they are free from various diseases.
• Veterinary training history is reviewed to ensure that animals are controlled and properly trained.
• After the animal and the therapist are ready, the animal can help with therapy. The type, size, age and natural behavior of the animal will be matched to suit the healing needs.
In addition, there are several things that must be considered by both the patient and the party providing therapy services with the help of animals.
Some of these things have to do with animals that will help with therapy. Patients who receive animals that are not suitable, can communicate with doctors and related parties to avoid unwanted things.
Some of the things that must be considered are:
• Animals should be immunized with prophylactic drugs according to the recommendations of a licensed veterinarian and on an as-needed basis.
• Animal health and behavioral status should be periodically evaluated.
• Animals must be free of ectoparasites (eg fleas) and must not have sutures, open wounds, or dermatological lesions associated with bacterial, fungal or viral infections.
• Animals should not be too young, under one year old because there are still unpredictable and uncontrollable behavior.
• Animal visits should be supervised by a person who knows and trains them, who is known as a therapist.

In the last part, which is part 3, we will explain about the risks of Animal Assisted therapy and the success rate of therapy. Click the link beside to read the third part and click this link to read the first part.