Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine (LMU-CVM) will host a public health fair for people and their pets on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the DeBusk Veterinary Teaching Center in Lee County, Virginia.
Participants will need to bring their dog or cat with them to the event. All people will be screened for blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose, height, weight and body mass index. Pets will be screened for blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose, weight, body condition scoring and will be given a heart worm antigen test. Additionally, for both people and pets, questions will be asked about their perceived health, level of exercise activity and the degree of human-pet attachment.
Participants will receive a clean bill of health based on scores and values consistent with the guidelines for health and physical activity promoted by the Centers of Disease and Control (CDC) at https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/. Persons with blood pressure and blood glucose values that are higher than the normal range will receive recommendations to seek additional medical care and evaluation for medical conditions like diabetes and hypertension that could increase their risk for stroke and heart attack. All persons participating will receive recommendations for maintaining or increasing their weekly levels of physical activity. Pet companions, receive the same benefits as their people, and the pet owners are reassured their pet is healthy and will be around for a long time.
The purpose of the health fair is to enhance and encourage the mutual health and well-being and enhance the companionship between people and their pets. People with limited resources to provide for their pet’s health will be advised of programs that may be available to them at a nominal or no cost.
The public health fairs are part of a study titled, Measuring the Impact of a Mutually Reinforcing Relationship Between Pet Owners and Their Pets. This research project will analyze data collected via a series of public health fairs and develop a general model of health and wellness behavior to examine the relationship between the health of humans and their pets and whether patterns of health and health-associated behaviors are similar. It is anticipated that the model will help determine that pets share the same health benefits and risks as their owners.