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Animals, Volume 7, Issue 5 (May 2017)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle How Are Service Dogs for Adults with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Integrated with Rehabilitation in Denmark? A Case Study
Animals 2017, 7(5), 33; doi:10.3390/ani7050033
Received: 1 February 2017 / Revised: 17 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 25 April 2017
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Abstract
A severe mental illness like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is known to have psychosocial consequences that can lead to a decreased quality of life. Research in Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) has revealed that the presence of a dog can have a positive effect
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A severe mental illness like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is known to have psychosocial consequences that can lead to a decreased quality of life. Research in Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) has revealed that the presence of a dog can have a positive effect on health, e.g., increase quality of life and lessen depression and anxiety. However, canine companionship is not a catch-all solution. Previous research has revealed methodological limitations that prohibit any clear conclusions, as well as a sparsity of critical reflection in anecdotal reports and case studies, which means that more research is needed to contextualize the findings. There has been an increasing interest in animal-assisted intervention in Denmark in recent years. Previously, authorities could only grant service dogs to adults with physical disabilities, but now this has been extended to adults with mental illnesses. Therefore, it has become important to explore how these service dogs are incorporated into rehabilitation practices in mental health, and how rehabilitation professionals react to the use of service dogs. This paper is a case study of a person who suffers from PTSD. This study examines how the person describes the significance of having a dog during her rehabilitation process, and how this is integrated with existing rehabilitation. The case study has been developed based on a semi-structured interview. A Thematic Content analysis was used to reveal dominant patterns and categories. This study revealed a lack of communication and collaboration between public administration (social service), service dog providers, health rehabilitation services, and providers of psychological treatment. It also revealed limited access for the dog to public services, limited success in incorporating the dog into goal-directed treatment and rehabilitation procedures, a strongly felt emotional support from the dog, and a perceived stigma by having the dog wearing a vest with he words “mentally ill” printed on it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Assisted Therapy)
Open AccessArticle Pregnant Sheep in a Farm Environment Did Not Develop Anaemia
Animals 2017, 7(5), 34; doi:10.3390/ani7050034
Received: 17 February 2017 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 22 April 2017 / Published: 25 April 2017
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to document the haematological profile of pregnant ewes throughout gestation. Sheep were divided into three groups (n = 8 per group): non-pregnant, singleton, or twin pregnancy. Blood samples were collected every 14 days from day 55
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The aim of this study was to document the haematological profile of pregnant ewes throughout gestation. Sheep were divided into three groups (n = 8 per group): non-pregnant, singleton, or twin pregnancy. Blood samples were collected every 14 days from day 55 of gestation for haemoglobin concentration; packed cell volume; total protein; and albumin concentration. On days 55 and 125 of gestation blood was collected for trace element estimation: soluble copper and zinc; glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx); and methylmalonic acid (MMA). Pooled faecal samples were collected on days 55, 97, and 139 of gestation. Pasture cuts were collected on days 97 and 153 of gestation. The haematology and protein concentrations were not different between groups throughout the study. Copper concentration increased in all animals during the study (p < 0.0001). Zinc concentration was lowest in the singleton and twin pregnant sheep on day 55 of gestation (p = 0.04). GSHPx was not different between groups during the study. MMA decreased in all animals during the study (p < 0.0001), but was not different between groups. Faecal samples were consistently negative for strongyle and nematode eggs, and coccidian oocysts. The pasture was good quality. Pregnant sheep in a farm environment with normal trace element status, no parasites, and an adequate diet, did not develop anaemia (PCV < 0.27). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exploration Feeding and Higher Space Allocation Improve Welfare of Growing-Finishing Pigs
Animals 2017, 7(5), 36; doi:10.3390/ani7050036
Received: 21 March 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
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Abstract
Lack of environmental enrichment and high stocking densities in growing-finishing pigs can lead to adverse social behaviors directed to pen mates, resulting in skin lesions, lameness, and tail biting. The objective of the study was to improve animal welfare and prevent biting behavior
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Lack of environmental enrichment and high stocking densities in growing-finishing pigs can lead to adverse social behaviors directed to pen mates, resulting in skin lesions, lameness, and tail biting. The objective of the study was to improve animal welfare and prevent biting behavior in an experiment with a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design on exploration feeding, stocking density, and sex. We kept 550 pigs in 69 pens from 63 days to 171 days of life. Pigs were supplemented with or without exploration feeding, kept in groups of seven (1.0 m2/pig) or nine animals (0.8 m2/pig) and separated per sex. Exploration feeding provided small amounts of feed periodically on the solid floor. Skin lesion scores were significantly lower in pens with exploration feeding (p = 0.028, p < 0.001, p < 0.001 for front, middle, and hind body), in pens with high compared to low space allowance (p = 0.005, p = 0.006, p < 0.001 for front, middle and hind body), and in pens with females compared to males (p < 0.001, p = 0.005, p < 0.001 for front, middle and hind body). Males with exploration feeding had fewer front skin lesions than females with exploration feeding (p = 0.022). Pigs with 1.0 m2 compared to 0.8 m2 per pig had a higher daily gain of 27 g per pig per day (p = 0.04) and males compared to females had a higher daily gain of 39 g per pig per day (p = 0.01). These results indicate that exploration feeding might contribute to the development of a more welfare-friendly pig husbandry with intact tails in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Farm Animal Welfare 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Intake Procedures in Colorado Animal Shelters
Animals 2017, 7(5), 38; doi:10.3390/ani7050038
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 29 April 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to describe intake procedures in Colorado animal shelters, compare infectious disease screening protocols in shelters taking in animals from out-of-state to shelters only accepting animals from Colorado, and analyze perceived risk of diseases in Colorado by responding
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The purpose of this study was to describe intake procedures in Colorado animal shelters, compare infectious disease screening protocols in shelters taking in animals from out-of-state to shelters only accepting animals from Colorado, and analyze perceived risk of diseases in Colorado by responding shelter personnel. A questionnaire was designed and administered to shelter personnel across the state of Colorado via the survey tool SurveyMonkey© (http://www.surveymonkey.com) or a mailed hard copy. Information collected concerned general shelter characteristics and intake procedures performed in various circumstances as reported by responding shelter personnel. Only 12.5% (5/40) of respondents reported providing core vaccines to all animals upon intake at their shelter, with young age (65.0%; 26/40), pregnancy (55.0%; 22/40), and mild existing illness (40.0%; 16/40) being cited as the top reasons for not administering core vaccines. A significantly larger proportion of shelters taking animals in from around the U.S. screened for Dirofilaria immitis than shelters taking in animals only from within the state of Colorado (p = 0.001), though a majority of respondents considered cats and dogs to be at risk of heartworm and endoparasitic infection in the state of Colorado. Based on the results of this questionnaire, relatively few shelters test dogs and cats for infectious diseases and some of those utilize tests for diagnostic purposes rather than routine screening. Additionally, vaccination protocols in several shelters are not consistent with The Association of Shelter Veterinarians Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters. This study provides important information on intake procedures in Colorado animal shelters and highlights the importance of educating shelter staff on varying risk of infection based on the history and origin of the animal being taken in. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Behavioural Profiles of Brown and Sloth Bears in Captivity
Animals 2017, 7(5), 39; doi:10.3390/ani7050039
Received: 25 February 2017 / Revised: 2 May 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 13 May 2017
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Abstract
Three brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos) individuals and two sloth bear (Melursus ursinus inornatus) individuals were observed in captivity to produce behavioural profiles for each individual. Data collected through behavioural observations were used to produce activity budgets, and to
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Three brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos) individuals and two sloth bear (Melursus ursinus inornatus) individuals were observed in captivity to produce behavioural profiles for each individual. Data collected through behavioural observations were used to produce activity budgets, and to identify space usage and certain aspects of social behavior. Behaviour monitoring allowed the researchers to evaluate the welfare of the animals by identifying the occurrence of stereotypic behaviours, which are sometimes associated with stress. Behavioural profiles were created using data obtained through behavioural observations (coding) and keeper questionnaires (rating). The behavioural observations indicated a number of stereotypic behaviours in sloth bears but not in brown bears. The uniformity of zone usage was calculated to investigate if the enclosure size and features were adequate for use, and a social aspect of otherwise solitary animals was also identified. The behavioural profiles generated through coding and rating were compared to determine the reliability between these two methods in Ursids. Profiles were not compared between individuals since this study is not a comparison between different personality types but rather an effort (one of the few ones existing in literature) to select a valid and reproducible methodology capable of assessing personality in bears. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication A Decade of Progress toward Ending the Intensive Confinement of Farm Animals in the United States
Animals 2017, 7(5), 40; doi:10.3390/ani7050040
Received: 5 February 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 9 May 2017 / Published: 15 May 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) farm animal protection work over the preceding decade is described from the perspective of the organization. Prior to 2002, there were few legal protections for animals on the farm, and in 2005,
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In this paper, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) farm animal protection work over the preceding decade is described from the perspective of the organization. Prior to 2002, there were few legal protections for animals on the farm, and in 2005, a new campaign at the HSUS began to advance state ballot initiatives throughout the country, with a decisive advancement in California (Proposition 2) that paved the way for further progress. Combining legislative work with undercover farm and slaughterhouse investigations, litigation and corporate engagement, the HSUS and fellow animal protection organizations have made substantial progress in transitioning the veal, pork and egg industries away from intensive confinement systems that keep the animals in cages and crates. Investigations have become an important tool for demonstrating widespread inhumane practices, building public support and convincing the retail sector to publish meaningful animal welfare policies. While federal legislation protecting animals on the farm stalled, there has been steady state-by-state progress, and this is complemented by major brands such as McDonald’s and Walmart pledging to purchase only from suppliers using cage-free and crate-free animal housing systems. The evolution of societal expectations regarding animals has helped propel the recent wave of progress and may also be driven, in part, by the work of animal protection organizations. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Practices for Alleviating Heat Stress of Dairy Cows in Humid Continental Climates: A Literature Review
Animals 2017, 7(5), 37; doi:10.3390/ani7050037
Received: 3 March 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 29 April 2017 / Published: 2 May 2017
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Abstract
Heat stress negatively affects the health and performance of dairy cows, resulting in considerable economic losses for the industry. In future years, climate change will exacerbate these losses by making the climate warmer. Physical modification of the environment is considered to be the
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Heat stress negatively affects the health and performance of dairy cows, resulting in considerable economic losses for the industry. In future years, climate change will exacerbate these losses by making the climate warmer. Physical modification of the environment is considered to be the primary means of reducing adverse effects of hot weather conditions. At present, to reduce stressful heat exposure and to cool cows, dairy farms rely on shade screens and various forms of forced convection and evaporative cooling that may include fans and misters, feed-line sprinklers, and tunnel- or cross-ventilated buildings. However, these systems have been mainly tested in subtropical areas and thus their efficiency in humid continental climates, such as in the province of Québec, Canada, is unclear. Therefore, this study reviewed the available cooling applications and assessed their potential for northern regions. Thermal stress indices such as the temperature-humidity index (THI) were used to evaluate the different cooling strategies. Full article

Other

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Open AccessCase Report Family Dog-Assisted Adapted Physical Activity: A Case Study
Animals 2017, 7(5), 35; doi:10.3390/ani7050035
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 18 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
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Abstract
Purpose: The aim of this case study was to examine the individual effects of an adapted physical activity, animal-assisted intervention (APA-AAI) with the family dog on motor skills, physical activity, and quality of life of a child with cerebral palsy (CP). Method:
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Purpose: The aim of this case study was to examine the individual effects of an adapted physical activity, animal-assisted intervention (APA-AAI) with the family dog on motor skills, physical activity, and quality of life of a child with cerebral palsy (CP). Method: This study used an A-B-A single-subject design. The assessment phase (phase A) occurred pre- and post-intervention. This consisted of standardized assessments of motor skills, quality of life questionnaires, physical activity (measured using the GT3X+ accelerometer) and the human-animal bond. The intervention (phase B) lasted 8 weeks and consisted of adapted physical activities performed with the family dog once a week for 60 min in a lab setting. In addition, the participant had at-home daily activities to complete with the family dog. Results: Visual analysis was used to analyze the data. Motor skill performance, physical activity, quality of life and human animal interaction gains were observed in each case. Conclusions: These preliminary results provided initial evidence that the family-dog can play a role in healthy lifestyles through APA-AAI in children with CP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Assisted Therapy)

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