A Labrador Retriever named Daisy, who has sniffed out over 500 cases of cancer, saved her trainer from the big C.
From drugs to bombs, different people, organizations and authorities train dogs to sniff a number of materials. Dr. Claire Guest, an animal behavior psychologist, managed to achieve a much difficult task – training dogs to sense cancer cells in human beings based on the smells of skin, urine, and other indicators.
Claire has published extensive studies about the subject, allegedly reaching a rate of 73 percent accuracy in dogs trying to detect cancer cells in samples given by patients.
Claire claims that Daisy, her Lab, helped detect the breast cancer with which she was diagnosed. One day, Claire let her dogs out of a vehicle to play but Daisy stayed – and that’s how she got detected.
“Daisy seemed to be pawing at my chest. She bumped against my body repeatedly – I pushed her away, but she nuzzled against me again, clearly upset. She pushed me so hard that it bruised me. Her behavior was totally out of character – she was normally such a happy dog, who would never hesitate to race after the other dogs. I felt the tender area where she’d pushed me, and over the next few days I detected the tiniest lump,” Guest said.
She went to her GP a few days after. Her GP then referred her to a consultant who thought it was a just cyst, but said he would do a mammogram to be sure.
“He was correct – the bump was a perfectly harmless cyst,” says Claire.
“But further in the breast tissue was a deep-seated cancer.”
It was caught very early and she had a lumpectomy and some lymph nodes removed, as well as six months of radiotherapy.
Guest later created an organization called Medical Detection Dogs, where 12 canine workers now detect cancer cells at a high rate of 93% accuracy. There are many examples in which dogs — particularly Daisy — have detected the disease and somehow alerted an owner. The use of dogs in the detection process is being more seriously considered by the medical community.
Image and article source : Daily Mail