CAN DOGS DETECT DISEASES?
It is well known that dogs have an extremely strong sense of smell. Hence, dogs have been trained to sniff drugs, bombs, gunpowder and missing persons. But, can dogs really detect diseases?
CAN DOGS DETECT CANCER?
It is scientifically proven that dogs can smell in parts per trillion. Moreover, studies show that dogs can detect cancer at stage zero (“in situ”). Malignant tissues tend to release chemicals that are different from those that are released by normal, healthy tissues. Dogs can detect that difference by smelling urine samples or smelling cancer through the patient’s breath. Scientists are trying to invent a breathalyzer test that could detect cancer in early stages. However, dogs are still the only ones that can smell cancer in stage 0, 1 or 2.
Dogs are most successful in determining skin cancer, breast cancer and bladder cancer.
CAN DOGS SMELL BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS?
Since dogs can detect things that we cannot, we have trained dogs to help people with Type I diabetes. Diabetes Assist Dogs are able to detect the odor which is associated with low blood sugar. Also, they are trained to warn the person with diabetes, by touching them in a significant way.
Indeed, there are many testimonies of diabetics who were diagnosed by their pets.
CAN DOGS PREDICT EPILEPTIC SEIZURES?
Even though doctors still cannot explain this phenomenon, epileptics claim that their dogs have the ability to predict and warn them about the next seizure.
However, the accuracy level in these cases is still doubtful.
DOGS CAN SENSE FEAR AND STRESS!
Dogs can sense when we feel fear or when we are experiencing higher levels of stress, even if we do not show outward signs. What dogs really sense is an increased hormone release in plasma (corticosterone). Also, adrenaline rush causes perspiration and increased heart rate.
Although many details still remain unknown, it is clear that dogs have an uncanny ability to sniff out certain medical problems, and this ability can be a real lifesaver.
Photo credit: Christopher/Flickr