Canines sniff out disease
Some times, the family dog can do what sophisticated medical equipment cannot.
A recent study observed how a border collie sniffed out a cancerous mole on its owner`s leg. It constantly sniffed, licked and even tried to bite off the lesion. In India, researchers claim that dogs can be trained to smell cancers in people. Another story explains that up to one-third of dogs living with diabetics have the ability to sense when their owner`s blood sugar levels fall dangerously low if they`ve taken too much insulin. And some can be trained to detect impending seizures in epileptics, apparently by sensing minute physical changes that precede a seizure and warn their masters of an oncoming attack. Some doctors also described how family dogs were attuned to oncoming seizures.
Scientists have many theories to explain the behaviour, but they really can`t say how dogs detect such early signs of illness. Many illnesses induce chemical or hormonal changes, which have profound effects on the body. Dogs may pick up electrical disturbances in the brain, alterations in smell, muscle tremors, or behavioural changes in their owners. They have 200 million scent-receiving cells in their nose, which, if spread out, would cover an area greater than their body surface.
So watch out for your doggy diagnostician!