With our hospital therapy work, it was ironic to come across this news video recently. How fabulous is it dogs like Angus are able to contribute such ‘pawsitive’ work on behalf of us uprights?
Our family experienced first hand the impact of that all too familiar infection know as Clostridium difficile (often referred to as C. difficile, or C. diff for short) while being treated for an entirely different illness in the hospital. Did you know that around a half a million patients per year become infected with C diff while in US hospitals with some 15,000 deaths. Earlier in the year, my own mom was hospitalized with a case of pneumonia a few months after suffering a gastric aneurysm. While in the hospital she contracted a case of C diff which made recovery from the pneumonia as well as ongoing gastrointestinal issues all that more problematic. Too bad ‘Angus’ or some other trained pup would have been wandering around the hospital when mom was there; she might have avoided an extended and very unpleasant stay and might have been able to recover from the pneumonia, an already tough illness for elderly patients to recover from, rather than the double whammy of dealing with C. diff on top of it weakening her immune system all the more.
We have hospital duty later this week and while the hospital where we volunteer has a very good record when it comes to secondary infection rates, I couldn’t help but wonder if a dog like Angus or his brother could make a significant impact in infection rates among hospitals in general. It’s made me curious enough to look into how to get into nose work. We’ll keep you posted on the possibilities that nose work might have in therapy work. Have you ever had any experience with a super sniffer like Angus?
Live, love, bark! <3