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

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

First residents move into Nuxalk Nation’s tiny homes

Four of the tiny homes are now complete and residents have moved in

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could say the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

Most Read