The therapeutic use of the dog in Spain: a review from a historical and cross-cultural perspective of a change in the human-dog relationship

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The therapeutic use of the dog in Spain: a review from a historical and cross-cultural perspective of a change in the human-dog relationship

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Title: The therapeutic use of the dog in Spain: a review from a historical and cross-cultural perspective of a change in the human-dog relationship
Author: Vallejo Villalobos, José Ramón; Santos Fita, Dídac; González del Campo, José Antonio
Abstract: En España, los estudios sobre los conocimientos tradicionales relacionados con la biodiversidad se han centrado en las plantas vasculares. Por este motivo, nuestra revisión se concentra en la identificación e inventario de recursos zooterapéuticos, en particular los que involucran al perro (Canis lupus familiaris Linnaeus, 1758) a lo largo del siglo XX hasta el presente. Se realizó una revisión sistemática cualitativa en los campos de etnomedicina, etnozoología y folklore. Se realizaron búsquedas automatizadas en las bases de datos y bibliotecas digitales más importantes. Todos los trabajos relacionados fueron examinados a fondo y se obtuvo información de 55 fuentes documentales. Hemos enumerado un total de 63 remedios para tratar y / o prevenir 49 enfermedades y afecciones humanas. En 20 de los informes documentados se utilizó el animal completo y se recomendó el uso de crías en 12 casos. La saliva fue el elemento de curación en 10 remedios, y las heces fueron la base terapéutica para nueve, mientras que la leche de perra fue para siete de ellos. Piel, piel y carne fueron los siguientes en importancia. Actualmente, los remedios curativos basados en el uso del perro no forman parte de la etnomedicina española y considerarlos así sería ahistórico. De hecho, la costumbre de permitir que un perro lama las heridas para ayudar en su curación y cicatrización ha sobrevivido en solo unos pocos grupos de personas. Sin embargo, podemos afirmar que el uso etnomédico del perro existe y se ha transferido a la "terapia asistida por animales".In Spain, studies about traditional knowledge related to biodiversity have focused on vascular plants. For this reason, our review concentrates on the identification and inventory of zootherapeutic resources, particularly those involving the dog (Canis lupus familiaris Linnaeus, 1758) throughout the twentieth century to the present. A qualitative systematic review in the fields of ethnomedicine, ethnozoology and folklore was made. Automated searches in the most important databases and digital libraries were performed. All related works were examined thoroughly and information was obtained from 55 documentary sources. We have listed a total of 63 remedies to treat and/or prevent 49 human illnesses and conditions. In 20 of the documented reports the whole animal was used and the use of pups was recommended in 12 cases. Saliva was the healing element in 10 remedies, and faeces were the therapeutic basis for nine, while bitch’s milk was for seven of them. Skin, fur and meat were next in significance. Currently, healing remedies based on the use of the dog are not part of Spanish ethnomedicine and considering them so would be ahistorical. Indeed, the custom of allowing a dog to lick one’s wounds to assist in their healing and cicatrisation has survived in only a few groups of people. However, we can state that the ethnomedical use of the dog exists and has been transferred to “animal-assisted therapy”.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10662/8611
Date: 2017


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