Dogs saving lives
Dogs saving lives
Medical Detection Dogs is a charity based in Great Horwood, which works in partnership with researchers, NHS Trusts and Universities. Our aim is to train specialist dogs to detect the odour of human disease. We are proud to have HRH The Duchess of Cornwall as our Patron.
There are two divisions to Medical Detection Dogs:·
• Medical Alert Assistance Dogs
• Cancer Alert Dogs
Medical Alert Assistance Dogs:
Our Medical Alert Assistance Dogs are trained to assist individuals who manage complex medical conditions on a day to day basis. Our dogs are taught to identify the odour changes that are associated with certain medical events. For example for someone living with diabetes, hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) or the avoidance of it can be a daily problem. Symptoms can vary from confusion to seizures or comas and be life threatening. Once trained, our Medical Alert Dogs recognise blood sugar levels outside the normal range and warn their owners or get help, before the symptoms are felt. They will bring their owner any necessary medical supplies such as glucose and blood testing kits. They can also be trained to push alarm buttons.
We also provide alert dogs for those with other very dangerous health conditions including:·
• Addisonian crisis which causes severe pain, convulsions and unconsciousness
• Pain seizures which lead to collapse and hospitalisation
• Narcolepsy, a malfunction of the sleep/wake regulating system which causes sleep attacks and paralysis
• Severe allergic responses to peanuts resulting in anaphylaxis
We continue to investigate other debilitating and potentially fatal conditions which our dogs may have the ability to help.
Cancer Alert Dogs:
Dogs are renowned for their sense of smell. For centuries doctors have known diseases have characteristic odours which dogs may be able to detect. Cancer cells release small amounts of volatile substances. Our Cancer Detection Dogs are being trained to detect these volatiles and we hope that this work and research will enable scientists to develop an early cancer screening system.
Medical Detection Dogs have a collaborative team including local clinicians, Giles Cunnick (Breast Surgeon) and Alan Makepeace (Oncologist) and are preparing to do a robust proof of principle study into the detection of breast cancer from a breath sample. We are currently preparing an ethics proposal for this project and will then proceed with the collection of samples from patients and controls. Particular focus will be on the reliability of the dogs in the detection of early grade and stage tumours. Medical Detection Dogs are also carrying out a prostate cancer study. There are massively powerful reasons for such work. Prostate cancer is a major killer and the current test, the prostate specific antigen test [PSA], is unreliable. If dogs can sniff prostate cancer from a urine sample the chances are high that from the results of the dogs’ sniffing research, a test can be developed that is far superior to the PSA test. The results would indicate the existence of a potential odour signature of prostate cancer that may correspond to one or, more likely, multiple volatile’s.
Medical Detection Dogs encourage our supporters to come to visit us at Great Horwood Nr Milton Keynes.
Please call us for the dates of our demonstration days 01296 655888.