Routine veterinary screening of both resident and visiting companion animals is recommended for all nursing homes offering pet-assisted therapy.
There have been reports of pet therapy animals being carriers of disease organisms (bacteria, parasites) that have been transmitted to patients interacting with them. This is of special concern when the people interacting with the animals are immuno-compromised or otherwise more vulnerable to infection.
Some people have allergic reactions to some companion animals. This should be considered before the introduction of pet therapy, particularly in a setting where multiple people may be exposed.
This information is based on a professional level monograph edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): Tracee Rae Abrams, PharmD (University of Rhode Island); William Collinge, PhD, MPH (Collinge & Associates); Dawn Costa, BA, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Dana A. Hackman, BS (Northeastern University); Jennifer Minigh, PhD (Medical Communication Consultants); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Shannon Welch, PharmD (Northeastern University).
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Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.