Having a pet dog is really worth it. Not only are they great pets, they also have a remarkable sense of smell that can detect a wide range of diseases.
Some dogs are trained by security services to find drugs or explosives, others are used to hunt for truffles. But that is not all they can do. Canines are also able to detect odors that are imperceptible to humans, which indicate the presence of certain diseases. Let’s get a look at what these furry angels are capable of:
In the onset of the pandemic, several researchers are training dogs to detect cases of SARS-CoV-2. The goal of these programs is to determine if there is a specific smell in the perspiration of people infected by the novel coronavirus that canines can accurately identify.
Initially this method which is being tested in the city of Strasbourg, the island of Corsica, has demonstrated very positive primary results.
This parasitic disease, which is transmitted to humans by Anopheles mosquitoes, can also be detected by our canines. In 2019, English researchers presented the results of a study conducted in The Gambia, which involved training dogs with socks that had been worn by children infected with malaria, who otherwise had no symptoms. The experiment proved to be so successful that researchers are now planning on using this method to test for cases of the disease.
Being able to know that you are going to have a migraine attack can significantly help reduce the intensity and the duration of the pain that it causes. According to a study in 2013, around 60% of participants declared that their dog warned them of an imminent migraine headache one or two hours before they began to feel it.
According to a British study One in early 2019, dogs can detect hypoglycemic experience in people suffering Type 1 diabetes in more than 80% cases. The study further explained that dogs can also be trained to adopt a specific signalling behavior, like caress their owner’s legs when they have identified the odor of hypoglycemia.
There have been several widely reported cases of dogs alerting owners who were suffering from cancer. In 2015, a Labrador named Daisy, who had been trained to sniff out cancer, warned her mistress by repeatedly cuddling her bosom. A short time later, the woman was diagnosed with breast cancer.
This surprising phenomenon is made possible by a particular odor caused by the disease in the urine and blood of affected humans. An American study in 2019 notably showed that beagles trained to detect the odor of lung cancer in blood samples could effectively identify the disease in more than 96% of cases.