Your Dog May Save You From Cancer


Your Dog May Save You From Cancer

Anyone who has owned a dog will tell you that they sense when things are about to happen. Whether it’s an earthquake or a thunder storm there’s a good chance that your dog will start acting erratically. It’s an interesting fact that this does not just happen to dogs, but to other animals as well.

When China experienced an earthquake in 2008 the animals in the nearby zoo began acting strangely. Peacocks were shrieking, elephants were shaking their heads wildly, zebras were banging themselves on doors, and other animals that should have been taking their naps were pacing erratically.

In 2004 when the Tsunami hit Sri Lanka witnesses claimed that flamingos abandoned their usual breeding grounds in favor of higher elevations, elephants made loud noises and ran to higher ground, dogs could not be enticed out of doors, and zoo animals would not come out of their enclosures. Remarkably, very few animals were found dead as the ones that were able fled to higher ground.

Rather than intuition, researchers believe that animals’ acute sense of hearing and smell helps them to be aware of impending disaster. Changes in the barometric pressure, sounds coming from deep in the earth, and smells of disease are all indicators to the dog that something is wrong.

Researchers have proven that when cancer cells are present in the body it causes a smell to emanate, one that a dog can detect. There are other instances of dogs predicting when their human companions are in trouble; one dog would wake her owner several times a night and upon awakening would discover that her blood sugar level were dangerously low. People who experience seizures have reported that their dog will become agitated and even try to tug them towards the floor, a sure sign that a seizure is about to occur.

It’s been proven that predicting cancer at its earliest stage gives the patient their best chance at beating it, and dogs have the ability to smell cancer cells long before tests will confirm the diagnosis. Dogs are now being trained to smell cancer in laboratory settings with the hope that scientists will be able to develop a breath test for patients, which will detect the cancerous cells. There is one instance of a dog in California repeatedly pawing and licking at the breast of its owner; she was later diagnosed with cancer in that same area.  Other research has shown that a dog who was trained to smell cancer through breath testing was accurate 91% of the time and in patients with colon cancer the dog was accurate 97% of the time when smelling stool samples.

The sensory perception of a dog is quite remarkable, as are senses of other animals. Time and again animals have shown us that there are things they can sense and smell that we humans cannot. The next time your pet starts acting strangely you may want to duck and take cover, or make a doctors appointment.

Your Dog May Save You From Cancer Credit Picture License: Franco Folini via photopin cc

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