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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pass the oinkment: Meet the wonder pigs proving a medical sensation with patients young and old

Piggie in the middle: Felix, on of two theraputic pigs works his magic in a senior care facility

A Dutch physiotherapist who uses two miniature pigs to help treat his patients, claims the animals are amazingly effective for both physical and emotional problems.

Daan Vermeulen brings porkers Felix and Rudi to meetings with his older patients and they also trot along to the children's ward to meet kids who suffer from emotional or behavioural problems.

Daan explained that the pigs encourage pensioners to move about and also foster greater social interaction among patients.

Stretch those hamstrings: Medical pig Felix has proved a big hit with seniors as well as kids.

Doing his rounds: Felix knows his way around the hospital wards

He claims they stimulate curiosity, activity and even alertness which helps them shrug off some of the negative effects aspects of growing older.

Daan said: 'This generation associates pigs strongly with their youth.

'It's a reunion with an animal one once knew well but hasn't thought of in many years.'

'Dogs certainly have good qualities but if I'm walking along one side of the street with my pig and you're walking along the other side with your dog, then everyone will look at me. That's the advantage of a pig.'

Bacon and legs: Physiotherapist Dan says the pigs encourage pensioners to get about

Walky porky: Physiotherapist Daan Vermeulen takes Felix for a walk

Home time: With his duties done Felix heads off to enjoy a well earned rest



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