There are many things that a dog can do when it comes to their sense of smell. Some dogs can detect substances like drugs or bombs. But did you know that there are dogs are also able to help detect diseases?
Ivy the cancer detector
Ivy is a black German Sheperd who is currently training at the PennVet Working Dog Center. Here, she is learning how to detect cancer, such as that of stage one ovarian cancer, which is very difficult to diagnose.
Researchers are taking blood plasma from real cancer patients and putting them into canisters. This procedure is done so that Ivy and other dogs in training like her, will be able to detect if cancer is present in their plasma. While she is in training, however, she is still there to detect a substitute odor. A click tells her when she has successfully found the scent in the wheel that they are using.
Another dog, Osa, who is a veteran with the program, can already detect the cancer scent in just a few seconds. You could see her head straight towards the canister with the cancerous plasma right when she enters the room. Although having dogs be able to detect this disease is great, it is not the endgame of the researchers.
They hope that scientists can replicate the dog’s tracking abilities through a robotic sensor. They hope that the dogs can help confirm that this sensor would work so that they would be able to save the precious lives of many people affected by ovarian cancer.
Dr. Cindy Otto, who is the head researcher in PennVet, hopes that this machine can be as reliable as the dogs they train. She hopes that this technology would work and be able to be brought into hospitals to be able to catch the early signs of cancers in patients.
Check out this video about this amazing feat:
Source: Good Morning America | Youtube