April 22, 2021

Dogs that help sick children in therapy

Dogs that help sick children in therapy

Garbanzo, Padi and Pecas They are three dogs that have a common past of abandonment and to be doctorates as canine therapists. A single unit in Andalusia helps pediatric oncology patients and children in rehabilitation from the Virgen de las Nieves University Hospital in Granada.

The canine unit consists of a trio of dogs trained to offer rehabilitation sessions to pediatric cancer patients. The three dogs were picked up from the street after being a victim of abandonment and have been doctored as therapists thanks to the training company "Hachiko", which he has trained them to help pediatric cancer patients to combat stress with sessions of an average of forty minutes.

Alejandro, one of the first patients of the newly released unit, is 10 years old and has a veteran smile in the Maternal Child of Granada. He dreams of being a mathematician or veterinarian, a new vocation in which this canine therapy unit has had something to do. "The first time came Pecas, and I liked it a lot because it does many things, I caress it, sometimes I feed it, we do tricks", remembers Alejandro, who bribes with dog biscuits to his other therapist, Garbanzo, so that he throws a leg with his, according to EFE.

The unit is part of the playful actions of the Maternal and turns the dogs into the perfect allies to drive away fear, pain and laziness from the game, that main ingredient and essential for patients who, on any disease, are children.

"The changes are seen from the minute one, children who had difficulty doing a certain exercise because of pain, lack of interest, fear, and thanks to games can overcome them, and an adherence is generated, with a lot of involvement of the children in the therapy ", explained Javier Rodríguez Ruiz, head of the pediatric block of the hospital.

Your first stop when you arrive at the hospital is at the Pediatric and Pediatric Surgery facility where visit children who are going to be operated on or who have already passed an intervention, to help patients cope better with their hospital stay. A plant above continue their work in the area of ​​Oncopediatría, an area where they offer playful exercises and help children in their recovery with physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

Amelia Fernandez, head of Preventive Medicine at the hospital, recalled that this type of therapies began to be investigated more than two decades ago at the San Juan de Dios hospital in Barcelona. Now, it has been implemented accompanied by protocols that include a dossier of dogs, canine vaccination card, liability insurance, analytical and disinfection circuits. In this way, thanks to the collaboration of the Spanish Association Against Cancer, each week they go to the Padi, Garbanzo and Peca hospitals, together with their instructors from the training company, to offer the best assistance to the children.

This animated team works the emotional part of the patients and between barking and barking, caress and caress helps them to reduce the anxiety generated by the hospital and surgical processes.


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