We all know dogs have awesome noses, but did you know that the fabulous sense of smell could some day save your life?
According to a recent article from VetStreet, there is now more than just anecdotal evidence that dogs can sniff out serious medical problems in time to allow you to get treatment and stay safe.
Recent studies have shown that dogs can identify cancer, drops in blood sugar levels, and impending seizures. In a German study, dogs were given breath samples from various people, and in 71% of the cases, dogs were able to identify which samples were from people with lung cancer.
Formal studies are just now getting underway on diabetic assistance dogs, but according to Dogs4Diabetics, a dog can catch the scent associated with a blood sugar drop 10 or 20 minutes before the blood sugar meters. Dogs4Diabetics places scent-trained dogs with clients who are at risk of falling into a hypoglycemic coma.
Similarly, K9 Partners for Life places dogs with those who suffer from seizure disorders. These dogs will often sense an impending seizure and provide support to prevent the person from getting hurt if they would fall due to the seizure.
Early information indicates that the ability to sniff out medical conditions is not tied to any one breed. The dog’s temperament appears to be the biggest factor in performance. Most often, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Portuguese Water Dogs are placed in these roles.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!