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A Complete Guide to Medical Detection Dogs

Did you know that a dog’s sense of smell is up to 100,000 times stronger than a human’s?

Dogs’ amazing sense of smell is no secret. Their powerful noses allow them to help us with a wide range of everyday tasks. But how much do you know about medical detection dogs? These super-dogs save thousands of lives every year by sniffing out everything from seizures to diabetes.

Look no further than our helpful guide if you want to learn more about how medical detection dogs are trained, utilized, and valued.

Read on to learn more about dogs for medical detection.

Sniffing Out Trouble

Dogs have incredibly sensitive noses – they can detect one part of material in a trillion.  This means they can identify smells that are imperceptible to humans. 

Through selection, training, and bonding, dogs can detect changes in blood sugar for diabetes patients, identify seizures up to 45 minutes before onset, and even detect early-stage cancer.

Trained medical detection dogs provide life-saving alerts for millions every year. Many sufferers of chronic disease can live fuller lives with a faithful canine guardian by their side.

If you’re wondering if a medical detection dog could help you or someone you care for, follow the link for advice on when to hire one, as well as an in-depth medical detection dog guide.

Medical Detection Dog Training

Dogs for medical detection undergo a rigorous selection and training process.

First, dogs are selected for their demeanor and enthusiasm for scent work. Although any breed can be trained for medical detection, popular breeds include Labradors, retrievers, German shepherds, and poodles.

The first step of medical detection dog training involves familiarizing the dog with the hypoglycemic, malignant, or other detectable scents by using confirmed cases or control samples.

Then, by using positive reinforcement methods, the dog learns to associate the smell with a reward. Over time, the dog will learn to respond without prompting. Training a service dog requires a minimum of 120 hours of training for at least six months. 

New Research

The potential for advancements in canine medical detection is huge. 

New studies have shown that dogs can rapidly and non-invasively detect COVID-19 with up to 94.3% accuracy. This is far more accurate than lateral flow tests. Detection dogs could help curb rising COVID-19 cases.

In truth, we have only scratched the surface of how dogs’ amazing sense of smell could help us with faster diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases, as well as the management of chronic diseases.

Medical Detection Dogs Save Lives

So, that’s the 101 on medical detection dogs.

These canines consultants provide an invaluable service by detecting diseases and medical emergencies at the earliest possible opportunity. With further research and funding, the possibilities are endless for medical detection dogs in the field.

Did you find this article informative? If so, be sure to check out our other posts for everything you need to know about animals, medicine, lifestyle, and more.

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