A Dog’s Purpose: Using Canines In The Medical Field


Dogs are much smarter than many people give them credit for. They’re equipped with some of the finest odor detection equipment on the planet. When it comes to picking up unusual smells, nothing beats the schnoz of a pooch.  The power of a dog’s nose can do so much more than just find a piece of food hidden in the sofa. Dogs are actually being recruited for the science and medical industry. Researchers are realizing that dogs can actually help detect a range of diseases, protect those suffering from certain medical conditions, as well as look after those that need a helping hand. Find out how canines are being used in the field of medicine.

The Sniff Doctor

You’d be surprised at the kinds of things a dog can sniff out. In fact, cancer is one of them. Throughout numerous studies and academic reports, dogs have proven that they’re able to detect various forms of cancer. A dog’s nose can pick up on what are known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs, which are associated with various types of cancer. For example, when a lung cancer patient breathes out, the dog is quick to pick up on the scent.

The same also applies to ovarian cancer, a type of cancer that’s often diagnosed too late. Dogs can pick up on all kinds of cancerous compounds by licking a person’s hand, smelling their urine, or by smelling their blood. While a dog’s nose isn’t enough to officially diagnose cancer, a quick visit from a pooch can help patients and doctors decide if further tests are necessary. In the next few years, we might see dogs using their noses to help patients and doctors save time and money.

Protecting Patients from Themselves

In some cases, dogs can also be used to help patients in everyday situations. For instance, people with autism might not know when they’re engaging in risky or unhealthy behavior. When trained properly, a dog can alert their companion when something dangerous is afoot by barking loudly or whining. This loud noise can alert patients of the situation, often saving them from an otherwise destructive pattern of behavior. The same is true for those struggling with epilepsy. Dogs are being used to intervene when a patient has a seizure. The dog can position itself so that they break the person’s fall, helping them avoid a potentially fatal disaster.

On Guard for Diabetics

A dog can also be a vital asset when it comes to managing diabetes. When a person’s blood sugar gets too low, dogs can remind patients to take their insulin or their medication. The dog will sniff out any VOCs in the person’s saliva to find out whether or not they’re in danger of letting their blood sugar levels get out of control. Patients that use a dog to help them manage their diabetes are more likely to have their blood tested on a regular basis.

Even if your dog isn’t hard to work saving lives, we bet that your love for your pet is the same. Head over to Larz Dog Products for some helpful dog training equipment and accessories.

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