Benefits of Pet Therapy

Stress is common for people living with aggressive diseases like mesothelioma. Dealing with the diagnosis and prognosis of the disease is overwhelming. In pet therapy, the patients are exposed to the animals to help promote mood and reduce stress. It can include activities like watching fish swim or playing with a dog or caring for farm animals. In the friendly companionship of a dog, the mesothelioma patients can feel a marked reduction of stress and anxiety.

Dogs and cats that are commonly used in this therapy are specially trained to be calm and comfortable around the patients in the hospital environment. Sometimes, even dolphins are used to soothe the patients. This therapy in the first session only has shown a drastic change in the stress level and mood of the patients. It gives the patients a will to live more. It is designed to offer inspiration and pleasant prospects to the cancer patients improving their frame of mind and quality of life. There are group sessions where one or more animals are encouraged to interact with the patients or vice versa. However, if the patient is restricted to the bed then small animals are brought to them. A professional trainer with a good comprehension of the patient-animal relation supervises the visit.

Even though, it is so much more about the animal paying visits to the patients. It has a therapeutic involvement aiming to lessen anxiety and decrease the blood pressure. It cannot cure the disease, but it plays an important role in the patient’s treatment regime.

Nowadays, animal-assisted therapy or pet therapy is available at most of the cancer hospitals in the US. It is generally administered by the recreational therapists who are human service or healthcare experts with proficiency in pet therapy. In fact, the pet owners can participate in this program as lay volunteers. But not every animal can participate in this therapy. Animals that are too dynamic or aggressive don’t fit for this program. Therefore, it is important to find the best certified pet therapist. Speak to your doctor or hospital help you find or recommend a pet therapy program.

How Does Pet Therapy Help People with Mesothelioma?

For the last three decades, it is a certified treatment given to the fatally ill patients. Even the non-dog lovers diagnosed with mesothelioma have been benefitted by this therapy. Apart from soothing fears, pet therapy can overwhelmingly reduce loneliness, pain, anxiety and despair among patients by 57 percent. It increases the production of endorphin that represses the pain reaction. Studies prove that it can lower medication costs, extend life expectancy, improve mood and alertness. However, it cannot be considered as a substitute to the conventional medicine.

Expected Cost & Final Thoughts

Generally, Animal-Assisted Therapy programs are volunteer-driven initiatives. Many AAT programs offer services to the healthcare facilities for free or at a reduced cost. Ask your doctor or hospital facility if they have or can arrange one.

Basically, pet therapy is considered safe for in-patients. However, there are a few points of concerns like allergies, disease transmission or behavioral issues. Again, it is not a good idea for people who are afraid of animals. Therefore, it is very crucial to discuss it with your doctor before considering it.

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