Disease detectors.pdf - is w ‘ Animals and Your Health...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: is w ‘ Animals and Your Health: Dogs as Disease Detectors byS e Schulte MS NEPH __ . _| . W‘ _ z There is no question that dogs can provide companionship, protection, and other services. B could there be another use fl7r our canine fiiends? Some anecdotal evidence and a sprinkling of scientific studies suggest thatdogs can detect seizures and cancers (like skin melanoma and prostate cancer); fhough the research is still in its infancy, preliminary results have already provided insight on developing new medical technologies. Detecting Seizures Though many anecdotal stories suggest dogs Can alert their owners before a seizure, there has been little research on how dogs might detect seizures before they happen. Some theorize that the dogs may smell a chemical or other scent that is released just prior to a seizure. Others believe the dog’s attachment to his or her owner helps in detecting subtle scent and behavioral changes before a seizure. Only a very small percentage of these service dogs are currently able to reliably warn their owners before a seizure. Some researchers have studied whether these skills could be taught. Researchers in the UK reported in the January 1999 and January 2001 issues of Seizure on dogs they had trained that could detect seizures 15—45 minutes prior to the episode’s beginning. In addition, the researchers found that the people using these dogs actually reported fewer seizures. Though these results are promising; in most cases it still seems that this skill is inherent in a dog’s personality, rather than something that can be taught. Future research may reveal what these dogs are detecting and how this information can be applied in the hospital setting. There is no doubt that trained seizure alert dogs can alert help, help prevent injury and watch over someone when they are having a seizure. However, the Epilepsy Foundation cautions people against rushing into spending thousands of dollars for a dog said to have skills of prior seizure detection, at least until the research supports a specific training regimen. Detecting Cancer There has also been anecdotal evidence of dogs being able to sniff out cancer and warn their owners. A brief repert in a 1989 issue of the Lancet describes how one dog discovered a cancerous skin tumor on her owner’s leg. Researchers have been able to teach bomb~sniffing dogs how to detect cancerusing similar training techniques. Other research supports the theory that dogs have the ability to smell cancer. But the real promise may be in learning how dogs can do this and possibly developing medical technology to do the same. The Future of Dogs as Doctors Dogs may never be used in the physician’s office. However, studying how animals can detect disease conditions in humans could lead to future advancements in medicine and medical technology. For instance, by learning about the ways dogs “smell” a seizure or cancer. cells, we can develop technologies to detect those same molecules. Medical “sniffing machines” have already been developed and are providing insight into the smells of disease for disease detection. ' RESOURCES: Page 1 of 2 Copyright © 2005 EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved. 1) What are some theories to how dogs can detect as seizure before it happens? 2) In January 1999 and January 2001 the UK reported that dogs could detect a seizure how long before it happens? 3) There is no doubt that trained seizure alert dogs can do what? 4) Bomb sniffing dogs have been taught to do what? 5) Studying how animals can detect diseases can lead to advancements in what?...
View Full Document

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern