Fraser Health introduces first hospital ‘trauma dog’ in B.C.

Therapy dogs can help patients reduce stress and comfort them if they are lonely or depressed

A three-year-old yellow lab named Koltan has become the first trauma dog at a B.C. hospital.

The Fraser Health Authority introduced the dog during their “Puppy Love Day” on Thursday at Surrey Memorial Hospital, as part of an event in which the B.C. Pets and Friends volunteer group brings puppies to the hospital.

As a trauma dog, Koltan provides support to patients in emergency and intensive care units, as well as to those who have suffered from relationship violence and sexual abuse.

“Koltan is extremely empathetic. He loves touch and he loves people,” said Lynn Gifford, clinical coordinator, forensic nursing, and one of Koltan’s caretakers. “I have seen him provide companionship to victims of relationship violence who benefit from this nonjudgmental form of comfort.”

SEE ALSO: Mac the therapy dog gives comfort to wildfire evacuees

His inclusion in treatment plans allows patients suffering from trauma to enjoy some quality time with the young pup and reduce stress. He can also comfort people who might be lonely or depressed while in recovery.

Studies suggest therapeutic contact with animals lowers blood pressure, reduces heart rate, improves cardiovascular health and slows breathing for those who are anxious.

Surrey Memorial Hospital is even creating a therapy dog team, hopefully ready by next spring. The goal is to have a database of different dogs so that patients can connect with the animal that gives them the best physical and emotional comfort.



trevor.beggs@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Trevor on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Friends, family remember Dan Sealey, stepson of Minister of Agriculture, in private gathering

Lana Popham confirmed Sealey died of an accidental drug overdose earlier this month at age 23

PHOTOS: Uptown lights up the holiday season

Annual event drew crowd of all ages for parade and Christmas tree lighting

New figures show City of Victoria spent $30,000 to remove Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Mommy’s Inside Voice: A little piece of you

Mommy’s Inside Voice is a biweekly column by Amie Jay, a local mother of three

High school graduation rates on the rise in Greater Victoria

High school completion up from 71 to 86.8 per cent over 10 years

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Greater Victoria holiday craft fair roundup for Nov. 16 to 18

Check off all of the items on your shopping list at these great events

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Most Read