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medical conditions

Dog smells to detect the risk of sick people

Fifteen minutes before the owner Vible had a seizure, Rosebud barked or groaned, then lay down next to the owner until the seizures stopped.


Rosebud is a Labrador retriever, yellow, 26 kg, trained by the non-profit Canine Partners for Life (CPL) in Cochraneville. Rosebud can smell and detect a person about to have a seizure. Rosebud has befriended her owner Sarah Vible for the past 5 years and helped the girl through many epileptic seizures.

During her second year of college, the frequency of Vible’s convulsions increased, causing her to constantly faint. Vible decided to drop out of school halfway and return to his hometown in Delaware. Today, 25-year-old Vible returns to university, graduated and went to work. She shared: “I’m indebted to Rosebud”.

Rosebud is one of many dogs trained at the CPL that can warn of the emergence of people with epilepsy, diabetes and other medical conditions. Smell helps a dog detect whether a person’s blood sugar is low or high. Researchers have not identified specific compounds that dogs are sniffing, but when they smell, they are trained to signal by specific actions such as barking or pouncing on their owners.

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Dogs are now being alerted to medical conditions trained by non-profit, nonprofit operation centers, individual trainers and sometimes pet owners themselves. In addition to the above skills, some are trained to warn patients about abnormal heart rhythms and detect allergens. Dogs are also trained to recognize certain cancers in the lab environment.

However, in recent years, many untrained dogs have been designated as service dogs by their owners for personal gain. These dogs have attacked trained dogs. Some states in the United States impose a fine of several hundred dollars and a year in prison for those who impersonate a pet dog as a service dog.

Dog trainers also warn that although dogs or other animals may help improve the owner’s daily life, they do not provide absolute protection. Dogs can make mistakes if they are tired, sick or overslept.

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This year, the University of Bristol in the UK conducted a study on the ability of dogs to detect hypoglycemia in a person. Assessing the effectiveness of 27 dogs, the study found that they alerted the owner 83% of the approximately 4,000 episodes of hypoglycemia.

Researchers from the University of Rennes in Normandy, France, gave dogs a sniff of breath patterns and the smell of sweat obtained from epileptic seizures, no seizures, and exercise-induced sweat. Dogs have successfully identified sweat patterns in epilepsy people. They take about 23 seconds to recognize these patterns.

Dr Amelie Catala, who led the research, said it could open the way for developing electronic noses, the device can detect and analyze odors. Especially when finding an organic compound that a dog smells, creating an electronic nose is possible.




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