Pets With Amazing Abilities…

Pets WITH Amazing Abilities

Can they detect cancer, predict seizures, and warn about low blood sugar?

Anyone with a dog or cat will tell you: Pets are amazing. They’re loyal, comfort us in tough times, and even lower our blood pressure. But some animals seem to perform what often seem like miracles, attracting attention for rescuing their owners from dangerous situations, predicting health problems, or making their way home from miles away. Are these dogs exceptional or are these abilities common among animals?


Research has shown that malignant tissues release chemicals that are different from normal tissue in multiple studies; dogs have been intriguingly accurate at detecting certain cancers by smelling breath or urine samples. How is the dog’s nose structured to enable it to be so efficient? The structure of the Dog’s nose is important. The nose is formed by bones, muscles and soft tissue and includes a blood supply of arteries and veins plus nerves, which are connected to specialised areas in the brain. Dogs can smell in parts per trillion. An example of this is: one cc (less than a drop) of blood, diluted into 20 olympic sized swimming pools. The dog can smell with ease that there’s blood in the pool. Published studies have shown that dogs can detect early stage cancer with 88% specificity, and 99% sensitivity. Dogs could help provide an extremely accurate, low-cost, non-invasive, early detection screening for cancer. Around the world dogs noses are being looked into and reseach being done to detect early diagnosis of cancer.

For more information please see Dogs That Sniff Low Blood Sugar: Can dogs predict drops in blood sugar? In 2008, Deborah Wells, PhD, a psychologist at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Island, reported on type 1 diabetes patients who said their animals often alerted them to low blood sugar before they noticed their own symptoms. Wells is now studying whether there is scientific evidence to support the phenomenon. Dogs That Predict Seizures: Doctors can’t explain it, but some patients with epilepsy report that their dogs are able to tell them when a seizure is coming. Jennifer Arnold, founder of Canine Assistants in Georgia, tells service-dog recipients there’s no way to train the animals to predict seizures – only to respond once they occur. But she says about nine out of 10 of the service dogs her organization has placed develop the ability on their own within a year of placement. “It really doesn’t seem to be terribly difficult,” Arnold says. “Dogs alert in different ways … Most of them become visibly distressed in some way. They will start licking their person or pawing at them. It’s extremely common for the dog to tug their person toward the ground, as if they want them to lie down.”