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Dogs can detect Cancer.

123_ABC
123_ABC Member Posts: 10
edited April 2022 in Furry friends

When my dog Molly a Fauve De Bretagne kept coming up to me and putting her nose to my left breast I thought it might be Cancer she was smelling. Having had no experience of this before and feeling a little daft I went to my GP and asked for a Mammogram. The GP examined me and because she could not find a lump would not refer me for a Mammogram. Yes, I did explain about my dog Molly but this made no difference and was left feeling stupid. A few months later the mobile van came round to the village where you can have a Mammogram. Of course I was straight on it. Asking how I could take this opportunity to have a Mammogram. They told me I would be invited because I had reached the right age. I was invited a month later and went. At least I would know for sure by doing this.

I was diagnosed with breast Cancer. My dog had been trying to tell me this all along. Not only this but the evening I came home from the hospital after surgery, the first thing Molly did when I sat on the sofa was jump on the sofa next to me and nudged my left breast. She bounced up and down in a very happy way as if she was so happy that the Cancer was gone. Obviously, she doesn't know what Cancer is. To her it is a very bad smell which she probably knows is life threatening. We did look after a neighbours dog who was dying of Cancer and Molly absolutely knew it. She kept a bit of distance and would not drink out of the same water bowl. Perhaps the experience with the neighbours dog meant she was even more aware of the smell of Cancer.

All I can say is, I am most grateful that she alerted me to this as I would not have known otherwise until it was possibly to late. It was very early days, it was small and had not spread yet to the Lymph nodes. Nevertheless, she knew it was there. Perhaps she even saved my life, who knows.

I have heard from others who have had this experience and even from a lady who had the same experience with her cat. When our dogs and cats are trying to tell us something we need to listen and take action. And they say dogs can't talk!

I hope this helps others and alert someone to follow up on this experience and stop the Cancer spreading in time.

All the best

Angela

Comments

  • melissadallas
    melissadallas Member Posts: 929
    edited September 2017

    When I had ovarian cancer my dog kept putting his nose right under my nostrils and doing an odd "sniff, sniff, sniff" with a weird fierce look in his eyes. I know he could smell that there was something wrong

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited September 2017

    I have heard similar stories. I truly believe. Thank God for our fur babies!

    Diane

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,630
    edited September 2017

    I've heard those stories as well. My two fur girls can only seem to detect the smell of food 😜.

  • castigame
    castigame Member Posts: 336
    edited September 2017

    I have a beagle who is extremely mild even when she was a puppy. No bark or howl whatsoever. No destructive behavior at all. Closest was a couple of garbage diving for beef residue for 7 plus yrs. Somehow, she used to tear my used faminine products. Beagle is a scent hound btw. Little did I know that my BC is 100% ER pos likely caused by really bad period.

  • 123_ABC
    123_ABC Member Posts: 10
    edited September 2017

    Hi Melissadallas

    I've not heard of Cancer being detected by a dog by sniffing nostrils. Makes sense though. Molly does check my breath in the morning. She just looks away as if to say your breath stinks. Perhaps that was part of it and just didn't realize.

    Thanks for replying.

    xx

  • 123_ABC
    123_ABC Member Posts: 10
    edited September 2017

    I think dogs smell your breath to determine your health. They can probably pick up a lot about what's going on with you by doing this.

  • 123_ABC
    123_ABC Member Posts: 10
    edited September 2017

    Thanks for reply. I'm sure they can smell just as well as my dog but there is obviously no underlying problem existing with you, thankfully.

    xxx

  • 123_ABC
    123_ABC Member Posts: 10
    edited September 2017

    Hi Castigame

    Thanks for replying.

    Yes, that makes sense to me. Although, they do want to smell blood straight away and if you have a wound they want to lick it. As you say, the intensity of the behaviour most likely signifies the problem.

    My dog is a scent hound as well. Scent hounds are obviously going to be better at detecting problems and more likely to be telling you about it as tracking scent is all they want to do and were bred to do.

    Great to hear these experiences which shows that there are other subtle ways in which our dogs are telling us when something is wrong.



  • kicks
    kicks Member Posts: 319
    edited September 2017

    My old Gordon Setter started staying closer to me than he had about 2 weeks before my DX. He had always stayed close to me so put it down to him getting older. (When I was managing the Stable several yrs before, he stayed under my desk when I was in the office or right beside me anywhere I went in the barn or outdoors.).

    I just put it up initially to him just being old (12) and wanting to be closer to me. And maybe it was partly. In the next 2 yrs, he would be right with me all the time during TX.

    Though a Setter, he had one of the best 'noses' of any dog I've ever had. He could pick out a stick I had thrown into a pile of twigs/leaves/limbs or a rock I threw into a pile of rocks. Hubby got a Black&Tan Coon Hound during my TX time but Cody (GS) had a much better nose than she has.

  • 123_ABC
    123_ABC Member Posts: 10
    edited September 2017

    Hi Kicks

    Thanks for sharing. That's so sweet to hear. Molly always lies next to me when I'm ill or next to my husband when he's ill even if that means one of us goes to bed early then she will jump on the bed and lie snuggled up next to us because she knows we are not well. Even when my husband closed the bedroom door once she sat outside the door until I let her in. She just has to be next to us when we're ill. It's so incredibly comforting. I'm sure he's still watching over you.


  • yellowb
    yellowb Member Posts: 102
    edited July 2018

    I inherited my dog when my mom passed away from cancer. (I did not especially want a high-strung standard poodle, so of course she quickly became my favorite living creature.) She has become hyper-protective since I became ill -- doesn't want other dogs near me, and growls at the door when people pass by.

    I'm sure she knows I'm ill, but I really wonder if she relates the two illnesses!

  • kikind
    kikind Member Posts: 16
    edited December 2019

    I was just diagnosed with BC (left breast) a week ago. My 2-year old yellow lab, Moose, is very calm for a young lab and always very gentle with me. But I had noticed that the last 6-8 months or so, he would nudge my left breast with his nose and just keep pressing. Hard. It always kind of startled me because the behavior was so unlike him so I would push him away. After the biopsy, he was still doing it but gently. My husband and I now think he was trying to tell me that something was wrong.

  • Wishwishbone
    Wishwishbone Member Posts: 1
    edited December 2019
    my uncle recently started a foundation for canine cancer detection research. Dogs are so gifted and our hope is the research will lead to technology to help detect cancer sooner. WillisFamilyFoundation - can't post link at this time...


  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,148
    edited December 2019

    I’ve read of dogs being trained to sniff out cancer. Why not? They can sniff illegal drugs, smuggled food. And be able to alert diabetic ppl and other illnesses. It’s thought when humans are ill, our scent changes. Makes sense to me. Spookie was her normal goofy self my first time around. And that is more likely with pets. But some breeds would be better at it.

    Give yours an extra hug anyway.

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
    edited December 2019

    Hmmm...... cancer must smell really foul, considering it bothers dogs more than urine, sweaty feet, and asses!

  • Skwashie
    Skwashie Member Posts: 8
    edited December 2019

    My Maple, he passed this year, a crazy, amazing cocker spaniel found my cancer. At the time I had 4 dogs (2 have since passed). Initially, he started pointing at my left breast. Anyone with a cocker knows the amazing stillness of their bodies and straight out tail. This got the attention of the other 3 dogs and each would frequently come and sniff the same spot on my left breast. I tried to ignore their behaviour (fear). My chihuahua would take a good long sniff, sit up straight and look me directly in the eyes; holding my gaze and I would look away (fear). My Poodle would try to console my breast. After about 12 months I mustered up the courage to tell my partner as to what the dogs were doing and of course I was sent off to my GP. I was embarrassed as there was not much to feel.

    And of course, my dogs were right. They found it, they were part of the team who saved my life. They also no longer sniff my left breast ... although our little rescue mutt likes to stick his nose where it’s not wanted when I’m stretching on the floor ... but that’s another story!

    Dogs ... amazing, caring and smart ...

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,932
    edited December 2019

    My Winslow is pretty smart but he somehow missed two cancers I had last year. But he can sniff out most other things. He's pretty opinionated about what perfume I decide to wear!

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192
    edited December 2019

    How wonderful that your dog nudged you toward getting treatment! My dogs didn't help me out but my little black cat Lucy did. About 6 months before I was diagnosed she began sleeping next to me on my right side, draping her front paws across my chest and laying them on the base of my right breast. (I was a small girl so easy for her to do ha) She was insistent upon sleeping that way and her persistence created that awareness for me. She literally pointed to the spot every night. Once I had my surgery, she stopped the behavior. So she was my little angel.

  • Newfromny
    Newfromny Member Posts: 108
    edited December 2019

    My Yorkie Colby was so considerate while I underwent chemo, after surgery he started treating me as normal asking for more walks and attention before pathology came back. My daughter said he know the cancer is gone, it came back cPR. Sadly he passed away a few months later

  • TheShadow
    TheShadow Member Posts: 2
    edited March 2020

    They can smell the chemicals that are produced in low levels by the tumors. They smell it either in the urine, or for lung cancers, on the breath.

  • Mareny109
    Mareny109 Member Posts: 4
    edited April 2020

    When I had my mammo and ultrasound I had to wait for 3 months due to fear of the biopsy procedure and lack of money. I had some friend's dogs sniff my right breast and at first I thought I just had something on my shirt. It wasn't the exact spot as my dcis. They were sniffing the bottom of my breast and the spot is on the side away from my armpit. Then after the biopsy I had surgical tape on and my own two dogs did it. Prolonged sniffs and only that breast in the exact same way as the others. I was a bit worried for a minute that maybe I had pus forming under the tape, but I felt fine. When I finally took off the tape a few days later everything was good.

    So I was ready for the bad news when I got it b/c of dogs. If you're in tune with them they will tell you.

  • castigame
    castigame Member Posts: 336
    edited April 2022

    I know this is old thread. In short, I believe my extremely mild mannered beagle dog tried to tell me something when she used to dumpsterdive my bathroom garbage. My BC was about 97%ER+. Had a second surgery to remove some atypical vascular lesions a few days ago. My dog sniffed the suture for about 3 secs and then went about her way. I want to take that as a good sign.

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 323
    edited April 2022

    Dogs’ noses are amazing! Mine have alerted me to urinary tract infections, and I’ve seen them detect bacterial infections on their pack mates. I’m post menopausal, and my girl is really rude to my daughters and their friends. I think they don’t judge scents as good or bad, but more as “other”. Kind of like the Sesame Street song, “one of these things is not like the other.” It is absolutely smart to pay attention to our furry friends. They have super powers. If our doctors are close to dogs or have accepted the science that dogs (and cats too) are good at screening for something, that might queue us for testing. If they don’t believe, i see nothing wrong with saying you feel something. It’s probably harder for them to dismiss that. And if our pets don’t make us “feel” something, then we’re missing out. Oh, but make sure you’ve changed your shirt. They could be smelling something delicious that dripped from your last meal…

    I’m really in favor of programs that train dogs to find cancer in people. Unfortunately, it’s less profitable than a new chemo drug, and it’s expensive to accurately train them. So for now, let’s enjoy all the benefits of pet life, and who knows. In between knocking over the garbage can and eating each other’s poop (all my dogs love one particular pack mate’s poop the best) they may save your life too.