In the medical field, dogs are being used to detect life-threatening illnesses such as cancer. Claire Guest, a woman with breast cancer, did not know she had the condition until her pet pointed it out.
Canines have a very strong and accurate sense of smell compared to humans. Part of their training process includes sniffing through a set of urine samples and distinguishing which ones are cancerous.
Dr. Cynthia Otto mentions that mice are better at doing detection work than dogs. However, canines are preferred because of their above average communication skills.
Individuals who are fighting cancer need all the motivation and help they can get. Deagan, a Great Dane, is a therapy dog that visits patients around a hospital.
The presence of a certified canine can boost morale and lift the spirits of people who are coping with life threatening diseases. Patients aren’t the only ones who can benefit from having a therapy animal around. Hospital staff and workers also enjoy the work that Deagan does.
Maggie Fournier, the dog’s owner, knows what cancer patients are going through first hand. She is a cancer survivor and has successfully overcome the condition through chemotherapy and Deagan’s support.
The tables have turned for Chet, a therapy dog. The canine was diagnosed with cancer and is receiving treatment, reports Sharon Dargay of Observer & Eccentric.
Chet still continues to visit stroke patients at the hospital despite of the diagnosis. It helps to keep the dog busy and socializing. Lisa Jacques, the sick dog’s owner, is on a mission to raise funds for Chet’s chemotherapy sessions.
Lisa and her husband supports the therapy pet by letting it play outside and swim. The canine refuses to let his condition get the best of him. He still wags his tail and happily carries on.
Source: Dog with cancer continues pet therapy work
A cancer survivor’s road to recovery is long and intense. With the help of equine programs, patients are able to reach new milestones when it comes to their health and well-being, reports Sanne Specht of Mail Tribune.
Individuals who suffer from breast cancer are seeking out Hippotherapy, a form of rehabilitation using the movement of horses and humans. This method of treatment has been known to increase respiration, oxygenation and stabilize blood pressure.
Furthermore, working with horses can help patients heal emotionally as well. Horses have the natural ability to relate with people. They are sensitive creatures and sense subtle changes in moods and movements.
Source: Therapeutic riding program begins for breast cancer patients
When it comes to ovarian cancer, prevention is essential. However, this is easier said that done. Because of this concern, medical organizations are looking for alternatives.
Penn Vet Working Dog Center, an organization that works with animals, train dogs to detect ovarian cancer tissue. One of the dogs in the program, Ohlin Frank, was able to achieve an accuracy rate of 100% just after 4 sessions. Hunting dogs, such as golden retrievers and Labradors, are primarily used for this type of service.
The dogs at the research facility come from breeders as a form of donation towards the center’s cause. Not all of the dogs will be used to detect ovarian cancer. Some will go to other sectors such as police or military.
Without interaction and activities, cancer can be difficult to cope with for children, reports Joanne Berger of Sun News. What happens when a rescue animal shelter and a cancer support organization comes together?
The result is nothing short of amazing. An animal shelter provides cats from the facility to be paired up with a kid battling cancer. The children interact with the cats, even writing letters to the future owners of the animal. One of the kids mentioned that he feels relieved when taking care of the furry pet.
The activity provides a fresh distraction for the kids, who otherwise would be immersed in a negative environment due to their medical condition.
Source: Berea Animal Rescue Friends’ cats help youth deal with cancer
Finding the cause of a fire can be difficult. With the help of a service dog, such as Pogo, the task should be much easier.
Pogo is a trained service dog that specializes in locating primary sources of fuel such as gas and lighter fluid. Even if the building is completely burned down or charred, Pogo is still able to accurately locate such liquids. Pogo doesn’t do this job alone.
Jeff Shatzer, special agent, takes Pogo to the crime scene and collects samples after the dog finds what she is looking for. Jeff mentions that having Pogo around can lower the amount of arson attempts due to higher possibility of getting caught.
Canines are being recruited in the war against cancer. Thanks to a dog’s remarkable ability to distinguish scents, dogs are being trained to detect cancer.
Over the years, there have been many anecdotal stories of a dog “detecting” cancer in its owner. In these cases, a dog exhibited strange or persistent behavior, such as pawing or nudging a particular area of the owner’s body. The behavior raised enough concern that the owner sought a medical assessment, which later provided the diagnosis of cancer.
Donna Waugh, president of the Arkansas Search Dog Association, is working with cancer researchers to help gain a better understanding regarding a dog’s scent-sniffing skills as they relate to cancer detection. The researchers are attempting to scientifically determine if a dog’s unique ability can be consistently harnessed as a reliable means to detect ovarian cancer, one of the deadliest forms of cancer for women.
Read more: Dogs Trained To Smell Ovarian Cancer Could Transform Screening For Deadly Disease