Is Your Family Pet Moonstruck?


A recent study reveals that vets treat more emergencies when the moon is full.

We can now add small animals to the growing list of creatures that appear to be moonstruck when Luna’s face is full.

A recent study by Dr. Raegan Wells – chief medical officer at Emergency Animal Clinic in Phoenix – shows a possible link between an increase in emergency room visits for dogs and cats during days when the moon is at or near its fullest.

In 2007, Dr. Wells and colleagues at the university retroactively checked out nearly 12,000 case histories of dogs and cats treated at the university’s Veterinary Medical Clinic over a 10-year period between 1992 and 2002.

The type of emergencies considered by the researchers ranged from animal bites to epileptic seizures and trauma. The study found that the risk of emergencies on fuller moon days was 23 percent greater in cats and 28 percent greater in dogs when compared with other days.

In other words, the researchers reported a significant statistical result. However, curiously, news of this development did not begin turning up in industry trade journals for another five years.

“If you talk to any person, from kennel help, nurse, front-desk person to doctor you frequently hear this comment on a busy night: “Gee, is it a full moon tonight?” There is the belief that things are busier on full moon nights. Only what’s behind the correlation isn’t clear. It’s difficult to interpret the clinical significance of these findings,” Dr. Wells said.

The Emergency Room veterinarian writes that many studies have investigated the effect of the moon on human behaviour and various medical problems, with evidence both supporting and refuting the effect.

Dr. Wells did theorise that on full moon nights, due to increased luminosity, some animals may stay out longer and remain more active, thus being more likely to be traumatised or injured. But she swiftly countered that the study was performed in Fort Collins where there was lots of artificial light due to its urban setting. “So it’s hard to assume moonlight was a factor,” she said.

The clinicians summed up the study’s practical implications in this way: “In a facility with a low caseload it’s unlikely an attending clinician would notice the fractional increase in visits. However, in a facility with a robust emergency caseload, these results could lead to reorganisation of staffing on fuller moon dates.”

Astrologers say results of the study are not surprising. On a clear night the full moon puts on display one of the more powerful, tension-producing aspects astrologers are called upon to delineate.

A full moon means the sun (individual vitality) and moon (emotional needs) are stressfully posited 180 degrees apart in opposing astrological signs. The dynamic energy generated by this alignment can stir things up dramatically, even as we dream the night away.

This was demonstrated in yet another study, this time at the University of Hertfordshire near London. Here Professor Richard Wiseman teamed-up with app developers YUZA to create “Dream: ON” – an iPhone app that monitors a person during sleep and plays a carefully crafted “soundscape” when they dream.

Each soundscape was carefully designed to evoke a pleasant scenario, such as a walk in the woods, or lying on a beach. At the end of the dream, the app sounded a gentle alarm and prompted the person to submit a description of their dream.

Professor Wiseman reports that the app was downloaded more than 500,000 times and millions of dream reports were collected. What the researchers learned is that the soundscapes really did influence people’s dreams in the ways expected. Those who chose the nature soundscape were more likely to have a dream about greenery and flowers while those listening to a beach soundscape were more likely to dream about the sun beating down on their skin.

But there was a glitch. Prof. Wiseman says researchers discovered that people’s dreams were especially bizarre around the time of a full moon. Go figure!

For more article like this one, see The Astrology News Service.

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