|Some current studies connect the full moon with bizarre accounts of increased hospital visits, traffic accidents, and aggression, but many of the connections are thin and vary widely from study to study. |
Historically there has been a common belief that a full moon can have an effect on people and animals causing them to act bizarrely. Oddly enough, the word ‘lunatic’ stems from “luna” for Moon, and comes from a folklore link that the moon can make a person mad or insane. In order to prove or disprove this theory, scientists have performed numerous studies involving hospital, traffic, and battery reports only to discover times when there does appear to be a correlation between the full moon and accidents, while others when no relationship is apparent.
In a recent study by Raegan Wells, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, and her colleagues at Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, a link was discovered between an increase in emergency room visits for dogs and cats during days when the moon was or near its fullest. Data compiled from case histories of 11,940 dogs and cats treated at the university's Veterinary Medical Center, indicated 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. The types of emergencies included cardiac arrests, epileptic seizures, and traumas, and the increase was most noticeable during the moon's three fullest stages: waxing gibbous, full, and waning gibbous.
According to Wells, "If you talk to any person, from kennel help, nurse, front-desk person to doctor, you frequently hear the comment on a busy night, 'Gee is it a full moon? There is the belief that things are busier on full-moon nights."
Superstition alone does not make for good science, but her research indicates that the long held belief may be based on fact. But despite the baffling results, Wells doesn't know what sort of connection is there.
"While the results of our retrospective study indicate that there is an increased likelihood of emergency room visits on the days surrounding a full moon, it is difficult to interpret the clinical significance of these findings," Wells writes.
What the pet emergency and full moon correlation means, however, is not at all clear. It could just be a coincidence.
This research appears to show that there is a relationship between the full moon and cats’ and dogs’ behavior. Do think this is correct? Do you think the research also applies to humans? Do you ever feel differently or act differently when there is a full moon? Share your thoughts in the Opinion Corner forum.
|Does the Full Moon Affect Us?|