ANIMAL-assisted therapy has been given the green light to commence in the paediatric unit of the Axarquia Hospital.

The Clinical Management Unit of the La Axarquia Hospital, a centre attached to the Healthcare Management Area of Malaga-Axarquia, now has a new programme of Assisted Therapy with Dogs.

This initiative has been made possible thanks to the collaboration with the Animals Society of the Juan Carlos University, together with Dejemos Huella de Elanco and Perruneando Malaga.

This programme includes numerous activities in different paediatric areas of the hospital, such as hospital stays, paediatric consultations and diabetic debut in paediatric ages.

Animal-assisted therapy can significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue in children, as well as adults, with a range of health problems.

The presence of a therapy dog also helps to establish states of calm in the face of treatment such as the injection of insulin, among others.

Studies also show that canine therapy facilitates rapid recovery in vigilance and activity after anaesthesia, modified pain perception and induced emotional prefrontal responses.

The development of this programme involves the close collaboration of members of Perruneando Malaga with the professionals of the Malaga-Axarquia Healthcare Area.

Jose Manuel Ramon, director of the UGC’s Paediatrics Department, informed that the sessions will run for two hours, on Tuesdays from 10 to 12 in the morning.

“Our children will be able to enjoy this therapy with dogs as long as their state of health allows it.

“These furry four-legged animals have the capacity to create bonds with children that go beyond simple communication, dogs have a magical effect which they achieve without words,” he said.

The programme also aims to implement associated research activities and/or projects in animal welfare principles, as well as studying the effects of the link between humans and animals and developing health promotion with alternative therapies.

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