Is It True That Dogs Can Smell Cancer?

It is common knowledge that dogs have a particularly strong sense of smell. They can smell scents that the human nose is unable to pick up. It’s the reason that police use dogs when searching suspects for narcotics. And it’s the reason that enforcement teams take bomb-sniffing dogs out when investigating a dangerous area. And many leading researchers are hoping to put the animal’s innate sense of smell to use in medical care. Within this blog, we’ll look at whether dogs truly can smell cancer within people.

Studies Show Dogs Can Succeed in Sniffing Out Cancer

Research, including a new study by the experts at the Humanitas Research Hospital in Milan, has shown that dogs can sniff out cancer cells with exceptional accuracy in humans. The Humanitas Research Hospital study comprised of two German shepherds attempting to identify prostate cancer cells within urine samples from scent alone. During the study, one of the dogs showed an ability to correctly identify cancer cells with 100% accuracy. This figure is far higher than the average detection success rates with other scientific testing methods. The study is an example of the latest research showing dogs have a profound ability to recognize cancer cells.

There is still debate on how the animals detect cancer cells within human samples. However, the general consensus is that dogs have advanced olfactory senses which allow them to identify VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) associated with certain kinds of cancer.

How the Data is Being Used to Save Lives

The latest studies now show that dogs can potentially detect the presence of cancer cells in the human body. These studies show that we’re only just beginning to scratch the surface in terms of uncovering the value that dogs can bring to our lives.

They will require comprehensive training to hone their innate sense of smell. But with practice and with the further integration of dogs within medical analysis processes across the country, they could play a high value role in saving the lives of those with cancer. To discover more on this evolving subject, speak with one of our team members today!

Lactose Intolerance in Dogs

Lactose intolerance is one of the most common canine digestive disorders. It’s a disorder that involves an adverse reaction to milk and dairy products, and can cause dogs discomfort if not adequately treated when it first begins to impact their health. Within this blog, we’ll review the symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs and highlight effective ways to care for dogs with lactose intolerance.

The Causes and the Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance

Cow and goat milk contains, on average, 4.5-to-5% lactose. This compares with 3.1% lactose in dog’s milk. This milk can be a great source of calcium in dogs whose systems can tolerate lactose. However, the higher level of lactose within dairy products can overpower a dog’s digestive system, especially in younger puppies. Lactose intolerance is largely related to a lack of the enzyme lactase, which is critical for puppies in milk digestion.

The symptoms of lactose intolerance in dogs include the following:

  • Abdominal sensitivity
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Drinking excessive amounts of water

In cases where your pet appears to be suffering from one or a number of these symptoms over a period of days, it’s important to take them to a vet as soon as possible for analysis and treatment.

Caring for a Lactose Intolerant Dog – Listen to the Vet & Consider Lactose-Free Treats

One of the many challenges for those caring for a dog with lactose intolerance is that their diets must be carefully monitored to ensure no contact with dairy products.

Under certain circumstances, owners may be able to feed their dogs products such as cheese and unpasteurized yogurt, which usually have the lactose removed before being sold in stores. However, it remains exceptionally important to speak with a veterinary professional before making assumptions on a lactose intolerant dog’s ideal diet.

Fortunately, there are a number of high quality lactose-free items that all dogs can enjoy. Speak with your local area vet today if you feel your pet is suffering from lactose intolerance. Proactive owners can protect their pets against long-term physical issues. Working with your vet will allow you to create a regimen that offers optimal nutritional support to your dog for the long-term.

Are Dogs Really Colorblind?

It’s the age-old question we ask when thinking about our dogs and their experience of life. Are dogs colorblind? The question has now been answered by specialists and the answer provides important insights into dog behavior and their reaction to lighting conditions. Read on as we discover the truth about how dogs see the world.

The Truth is Dogs CAN See Color

Despite past theories that dogs can only see in black and white, they can actually see in certain degrees of color. The major difference between a human’s eyes and a dog’s eyes is the number of color-detecting cells (otherwise known as cones) within their eyes. Humans have three cones within each eye, which helps us differentiate between colors and shades. However, dogs only have two cones within each eye. This means their visible wavelength light spectrum is minimized.

What Do Dogs See?

Recent experiments have shown that a dog’s perception of their environment is similar to that of red-green color-blind people. Like those with red-green color blindness, dogs perceive color differently than humans with full color vision. This means that what most people see as red will appear as dark brown to the dog. And the colors green and orange each look yellow to varying degrees. An object that appears blue to humans while take a gray appearance when viewed through the lens of a dog’s eye.

Number of Light Receptors Higher in Dogs than Humans

However, while the amount of cones and the depth of color perception are limited in dogs, they do have superior light and motion detection capabilities. That’s because dogs have a higher ratio of photoreceptors (also called rods) to cones within their eyes than humans. This high concentration of rods allows dogs to see better in environments with limited light. Dogs also have a reflective membrane behind their retina, known as a tapetum, which reflects the light not captured by the rods and cones directly back into the dog’s retina. This enhanced light perception also allows dogs to quickly detect motion and empowers their greater nocturnal hunting abilities.

While dogs might be limited in their ability to see color, their lack of perception is more than balanced by their abilities to detect light and motion. Take this information into consideration the next time you enjoy playtime with your pup! To learn more on color perception in dogs, contact our team today!

How to Care for a Pregnant Dog

For your pregnant dog to be comfortable and complete the pregnancy process in a healthy condition, you must understand the expert care techniques. There are significant elements involved in caring for a pregnant dog that some owners may not even consider. And so within this blog, we’ll provide guidelines on caring for a dog during pregnancy.

 

Ensure Your Dog Gets Plenty of Rest

Pregnancy can be a tiring process for your beloved pet, and so it’s important you allow them as much time as possible to sleep and regain their strength.

Commit to Required Vet Appointments during the Pregnancy

Because of the physiological changes your dog goes through during pregnancy, it’s important they see your local vet on a regular basis for check-ups. These appointments can help highlight and treat issues that may otherwise cause complications during and after birth.

Brush Fur and Clean Your Dogs Eyes Twice Weekly

The dog’s fur can be a breeding ground for parasites that cause infection. To prevent possible parasitic infections, brush your dog twice weekly. Cleaning the dog’s eyes with water after brushing is also a great way to minimize potential infections during pregnancy.

Ensure Optimal Nutrition

Nutritional is a critical element to successful pregnancies for dogs and so you must work closely with your vet to craft a special dietary regimen for your pregnant dog. For the first six weeks of pregnancy, give your dog their normal amount of food. And then slowly increase their amount of food during the final three weeks of the pregnancy. This helps ensure the dog retains their ideal caloric intake for their body and the bodies of their growing puppies.

Only use Vet-Recommended Supplements

Many pet owners feel it’s important to provide their pup with calcium as they go through pregnancy. However, calcium and other supplements can cause imbalance within their hormones, potentially impacting their ability to produce safe milk after they give birth. Listen closely to your vet’s suggestions and only give your dog supplements that the vet has recommended.

 

Careful creation of your dog care regimen can help ensure your pregnant pet is well cared for and safe throughout the experience. Speak with our specialist team directly to learn more on expert care techniques.