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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Michael Scally MD, May 5, 2011.
In a court case in Nova Scotia last week, a man was sentenced for animal cruelty after it was judged he had caused his dog “undue anxiety.” CBC reports that the man repeatedly whipped the dog with a leash, and although there were no physical injuries, the court’s judgment rested on the psychological harm caused.
Although this was a first for the courts in Nova Scotia, in the last few years, there have been several other convictions of animal cruelty in Canada based on the emotional harm caused to a dog.
The recognition that animals’ emotional states can be taken into account in cruelty cases is based on scientific research on animal sentience and updates to models of animal welfare.
This approach is explained in a paper by Dr. Rebecca Ledger and Prof. David Mellor published in the journal Animals last year. Forensic Use of the Five Domains Model for Assessing Suffering in Cases of Animal Cruelty
It is now recognized that animals are sentient beings; in other words, they experience things through their senses and can have positive and negative experiences, such as happiness and pain.
Just got this little bastard a few weeks ago. I named her poofy. (I was pretty stoned). Lol
She looks awesome!!
Wife: We just ate, why are you making pancakes?
Me: They’re for the dogs.
Wife: Why are you making pancakes for the dogs?
Me: They don’t know how.
[OA] Dog Ownership and Survival
WHAT IS KNOWN
· Dog ownership has been associated with decreased cardiovascular risk. A series of studies has suggested associations of dog ownership with lower blood pressure levels, improved lipid profile, and diminished sympathetic responses to stress.
· The evidence regarding dog ownership and mortality has yielded conflicting results. Whereas the association between dog ownership and mortality has been explored since the 1980s, living in a home with a dog has been associated with improved survival in some studies with others arguing a neutral effect.
WHAT THE STUDY ADDS
· Pooling the data of 3 837 005 participants, dog ownership was associated with a 24% risk reduction for all-cause mortality as compared to nonownership (relative risk, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.67–0.86).
· In analyses of studies evaluating cardiovascular mortality, dog ownership conferred a 31% risk reduction for cardiovascular death (relative risk, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.67–0.71; I2, 5.1%).
· Dog ownership is associated with lower risk of death over the long term, which is possibly driven by a reduction in cardiovascular mortality. These results hold implications for future studies on lifestyle interventions.
Background: Dog ownership has been associated with decreased cardiovascular risk. Recent reports have suggested an association of dog companionship with lower blood pressure levels, improved lipid profile, and diminished sympathetic responses to stress.
However, it is unclear if dog ownership is associated with improved survival as previous studies have yielded inconsistent results.
Thus, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the association of dog ownership with all-cause mortality, with and without prior cardiovascular disease, and cardiovascular mortality.
Methods and Results: Studies published between 1950 and May 24, 2019 were identified by searching Embase and PubMed. Observational studies that evaluated baseline dog ownership and subsequent all-cause mortality or cardiovascular mortality. Two independent reviewers extracted the data. We assessed pooled data using random-effects model. A possible limitation was that the analyses were not adjusted for confounders.
Ten studies were included yielding data from 3 837 005 participants (530 515 events; mean follow-up 10.1 years). Dog ownership was associated with a 24% risk reduction for all-cause mortality as compared to nonownership (relative risk, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.67–0.86) with 6 studies demonstrating significant reduction in the risk of death.
Notably, in individuals with prior coronary events, living in a home with a dog was associated with an even more pronounced risk reduction for all-cause mortality (relative risk, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.17–0.69; I2, 0%). Moreover, when we restricted the analyses to studies evaluating cardiovascular mortality, dog ownership conferred a 31% risk reduction for cardiovascular death (relative risk, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.67–0.71; I2, 5.1%).
Conclusions: Dog ownership is associated with lower risk of death over the long term, which is possibly driven by a reduction in cardiovascular mortality.
Kramer Caroline K, Mehmood S, Suen Renée S. Dog Ownership and Survival. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 2019;12:e005554. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.119.005554
[OA] Dog Ownership and Survival After a Major Cardiovascular Event
WHAT IS KNOWN
· Physical activity and psychosocial support have been shown to be important for optimal recovery after a major cardiovascular event.
· Dog ownership has been shown to be associated with increased physical activity levels and increased social support.
· Some smaller studies have pointed to a lower risk of death after a cardiovascular event in dog owners, but other studies have not replicated this finding.
WHAT THE STUDY ADDS
· In this large register-based cohort study, we found evidence of an association of dog ownership with better outcomes after a major cardiovascular event independent of measured socioeconomic variables and comorbidities at admission.
Background: Dog ownership is associated with increased physical activity levels and increased social support, both of which could improve the outcome after a major cardiovascular event. Dog ownership may be particularly important in single-occupancy households where ownership provides substitutive companionship and motivation for physical activity.
Methods and Results: We used the Swedish National Patient Register to identify all patients aged 40 to 85 presenting with an acute myocardial infarction (n=181 696; 5.7% dog ownership) or ischemic stroke (n=154 617; 4.8% dog ownership) between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2012. Individual information was linked across registers for cause of death, sociodemographic, and dog ownership data.
We evaluated all-cause mortality and risk of recurrent hospitalization for the same cause until December 31, 2012. Models were adjusted for socioeconomic, health, and demographic factors at study inclusion such as age, marital status, the presence of children in the home, area of residence, and income, as well as all registered comorbidities and hospitalization for cardiovascular disease in the past 5 years.
Dog owners had a lower risk of death after hospitalization for acute myocardial infarction during the full follow-up period of 804 137 person-years, with an adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 0.67 (95% CI, 0.61 to 0.75) for those who lived alone, and HR of 0.85 (95% CI, 0.80 to 0.90) for those living with a partner or a child.
Similarly, after an ischemic stroke, dog owners were at lower risk of death during the full follow-up of 638 219 person-years adjusted HR of 0.73 (95% CI, 0.66 to 0.80) for those who lived alone and HR of 0.88 (95% CI, 0.83 to 0.93) for those living with a partner or a child.
We further found an association of dog ownership with reduced risk of hospitalization for recurrent myocardial infarction (HR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.87 to 0.99).
Conclusions: We found evidence of an association of dog ownership with a better outcome after a major cardiovascular event. Although our models are adjusted for many potential confounders, there are also unmeasured confounders such as smoking that prevent us from drawing conclusions regarding a possible causal effect.
Mubanga M, Byberg L, Egenvall A, Ingelsson E, Fall T. Dog Ownership and Survival After a Major Cardiovascular Event. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 2019;12:e005342. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.118.005342
[OA] Who Is Rescuing Whom?
Much has been written about the effect of dog ownership on mental well-being. Dogs offer companionship, reduce anxiety and loneliness, increase self-esteem, and improve overall mood. Even a single exposure to therapy dogs reduces stress response and pain during pediatric phlebotomy or postarthroplasty physical therapy.
This positive effect of pets on mental well-being appears to extend to other less-interactive pets: community-dwelling older adults randomized to caring for crickets in a cage showed significant improvements on the Geriatric Depression Scale and the Mini-Mental State Examination at 8 weeks compared with those randomized to health advice.
Although the mental health benefits of pets in general, and dogs in particular, are well-defined, their effect on physical health is less well understood. Two studies in this issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes address this important question.
Kazi Dhruv S. Who Is Rescuing Whom? Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 2019;12:e005887. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.119.005887