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Biology, Sustainability

Music and cats under anaesthesia

There are lots of reasons why finding ways to decrease the amount of medication that is needed is positive. Reducing side effects is obviously important but there’s also resource use and social equity factors. If we need less medications it can decrease the energy and materials necessary to create those medications. Decreased amounts of drugs may also result in decreased costs and improved access (of course there are a whole bunch of factors that affect drug cost, many of which are fundamentally inequitable).

Pets have significant impacts on our quality of life and being able to provide the best care is important to maintaining that relationship. Perhaps, being able to decrease the drugs required to provide vital health care to our animals can improve costs and help more people develop meaningful relationships and care for more of the many homeless animals. So how can we reduce drug use?

In a small study of cats, researchers tested responses under general anaesthetic to different types of music. Mira et al (2016) compared respiratory rates and pupil dilation of cats when exposed to classical, pop, or heavy metal music. They found that classical music resulted in the best response, indicating that a lower dose of anaesthetic may be possible in the presence of classical music.

This is also interesting because it shows that cats are not only processing auditory stimuli while unconscious but also that cats respond to different types of music.

I think this is a really interesting area of research because it seems to have so many positive implications, as mentioned above. It also highlights the importance of the arts in our overall well-being.

About Tai Munro

I am passionate about making science, sustainability, and sport accessible through engaging information and activities.

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