Keiro is pleased to announce our involvement in an exciting new project!
Our partners Neural Pathways have been working closely with us, Northumbria University and the Retired Greyhound Trust on a 6 week project which has been designed to discover whether there are specific rehabilitation or social benefits that greyhounds can bring to individuals with complex neurological conditions.
The idea for Neurohounds developed after Andrew Patterson of Neural Pathways attended a seminar which discussed the benefits of farm animals for clients with neurological conditions.
Commenting on the project Andrew said “I was really interested in how it wasn't just the contact with the animals that had the benefits; it was the additional work that could be done in conjunction with the animal theme that had fantastic outcomes for the individuals with the neurological conditions.
I started to think about whether there was any way that work like this could be provided within the community, as obviously it would be impractical transporting farm animals around! This was when I thought of the greyhound as a potentially excellent animal to work in this field. I did a bit of research on greyhounds as therapy dogs and found that they are widely used in America as 'reading dogs' for children but not as therapy dogs specifically for neurological conditions. I felt that the unique nature of the dog and their consistent characteristics, as well as their size would be fantastic for a neurological setting”.
Andrew’s interest in the breed intensified after he and his family adopted a greyhound ‘Monty’ from Hollin hall retired greyhound trust in September 2011. Andrew said “Monty has given me first-hand experience of how attentive, caring and patient they are as a breed”
“As a neurophysiotherapist, I work with individuals who have a variety of neurological conditions. A lot of my treatments require a consistent and reliable approach to ensure success in their rehabilitation. I feel that the greyhound would be excellent and innovative addition to a rehabilitation process”.
Each Neurohounds session will last for up to 30 minutes, per week giving clients the opportunity to work with the greyhounds on activities including grooming, petting, providing treats and walking the greyhound.
The greyhounds provided will be specially chosen for the client. For example a taller dog which is more relaxed can be provided for clients in wheelchairs and restricted reach, whereas a more energetic dog may be more suitable for clients with less restricted mobility.
At the end of the 6 weeks trial, an MSc Occupational Therapy student will complete 2 focus groups Information from the groups will be used for the student's final year MSc project - studying at Northumbria University.
For more information about Neurohounds please visit:
Twitter - @NeuroHounds
or search for NeuroHounds on facebook!