The Three Types Of Medical Response Dogs
One could say medical response dogs are equivalent of a human caregiver. In mainstream media, these dogs often assist blind people so that they do not lose their way. In reality, medical response dogs aren’t just leading the blind. They also help those with seizures and psychiatric problems. Medical response dogs also have the ability to detect blood sugar levels and even cancer.
- Cancer Detecting Dogs
A dog’s amazing sense of smell could sense anyone’s unique identity from far away, but did you know it can also detect cancer in its early stages? Cancer detecting dogs can detect prostate and breast cancer with proper training.
Dogs are trained to smell a human urine sample that may contain prostate cancer smells. According to a research, a dog could detect the potential odor signature of prostate cancer. However, this is not always accurate. Sometimes, it could only be a major prostate disease but it isn’t cancer. But the take-away message is that dogs can identify that something is wrong with someone’s prostate just by smelling that person’s urine.
Breast cancer detecting dogs are believed to smell highly volatile substances emitted by cancerous smells. They may also detect this smell from human urine or breath. A study conducted by the Sensory Research Institute at Florida State University in Tallahassee showed trained dogs could detect the odor of skin melanomas and prostate cancer. Research from Pine Street Foundation in California showed dogs who were taught to detect lung and breast cancer had an average rate of 80% accuracy per trial by just sniffing a human’s breath.
- General Medical Assistance Dogs
Medical assistance dogs help humans who are blind, as well as those who have severe physical or mental disabilities. These dogs are taught how to detect odors to monitor the health condition of their owners. The dogs could detect a rise in blood sugar especially in diabetic people, even the smallest change in blood sugar levels. This is beneficial in cases where doctors can’t be around to perform lengthy blood sugar tests and advise proper maintenance.
General medical assistance dogs are taught to warn their owners when they are cold, get help from medical staff and get crucial medical supplies in any emergency.
Psychiatric disability and seizure response dogs are trained to observe and be alert for any behavioral changes or blood chemistry changes their owner might have. These dogs can detect epilepsy, convulsions, unconsciousness, severe pain, allergic responses and even narcolepsy.
- Therapy Dogs
Therapy dogs help patients with manic-depressive behavior and general mental conditions. They serve as affectionate and comforting companions for individuals in mental institutions, retirement homes and prisons.
Studies show that the presence of a dog helps lower blood pressure, and lowers the level of stress hormones. The affection and comfort provided by a dog also increases the level of endorphins with mental and psychologically-challenged patients.
Therapy dogs have also shown promise with improving the memory and focus of patients who have Alzheimer’s, as well as helping encourage speech and physical activities among stroke and paralysis victims.
Most Therapy Dogs, like their medical and assistance counterparts, are trained with high standards of obedience and patience. These dogs are patient with strangers, responsive to commands and are not startled easily.