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TDK conference 2020

The use the stress-reducing effect of music in small animal clinic
Montlika Lejla - year 5
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department Animal Breeding, Nutrition and Laboratory Animal Science
Supervisor: Dr. Gabriella Korsós


As a matter of fact, investigating the effects of music on animals is a newly researched field that appears to be extremely promising based on previous studies. However, due to the fact that the test subjects in these studies were mainly healthy animals housed in shelters, boarding houses or were used for educational purposes, it is rather crucial to increase the number of studies performed in clinical settings.

In the course of my research in a veterinary clinic, I examined the effect of the following sound materials on both dogs and cats: classical music (fast tempo), classical music (slow tempo), species-specific music composed for cats by David Teie, classical music (with audiobook). The stress level of the pets was judged and analyzed based on their behavior and body language at the clinic. The research lasted for 2 weeks, during which 60 veterinary and 60 ownership questionnaires were collected for each animal, of which 34 were completed by dog owners and 26 by cat owners.

During the study, nearly half of the animals (41% of dogs and 65% of cats) were more relaxed under the influence of music compared to standard veterinary visits. In the case of dogs, when slow classical music was played, and in the case of cats, when fast classical music was shown, there were more animals that were calmer than other times when no music was applied. However, it was only during the playback of cat-specific music that it was observed that several cats turned to the direction where the source of the sound was. This suggests that cats are more attracted to cat-specific music. 46% of the cats presented less hair loss than usual and 36% were easier to remove from the carrier. Nearly half of the cats in the research were cooperative, while the other half tried to hide, to escape; however, 64% of those in the latter group were also calmer compared to themselves. Furthermore, 58% of pet owners considered the waiting time to be shorter. 78% of responding pet owners would rather go to a more distant music therapy clinic than to a closer clinic where no music is played.

As a conclusion, the use of music therapy can be a new tool to increase patient care, reduce anxiety in animals before and during the study, thus facilitating their manageability and minimizing the likelihood of injury to hospital crew.

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