Can Dogs Smell Cancer and Lactose Intolerance?

By March 20 | See Comments

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Dogs have an exceptional capability to detect things by sniffing them out. That’s why they’re so valuable to be used as service dogs. They can effectively sniff out bombs, drugs, and in some cases, even diseases. If they smell that their diet is lacking in the necessary amino acids, they might even decide to go ahead and push that bowl of food away. They’d rather not eat than eat something unsatisfactory.In recent years, people have been interested in a dog’s ability to allegedly smell cancer in its beginning stages. Dogs are usually guided by their sense of smell than their sense of sight or taste. They depend heavily on what they can sniff out in the atmosphere around them.

What is your dog’s olfactory capacity?

Dogs have an olfactory cortex that’s 40 times bigger than the ones we humans possess. It has up to 220 million highly reactive smell receptors. If you notice your dog licking you continuously at a certain spot, it might be an indication of skin cancer. He might have picked up on it, and is trying to warn you. Do your research thoroughly before you rush over to the hospital, convinced you have cancer. Although this is one of the reasons, there are other reasons why a dog might lick you. Trained dogs usually pick up on other cancers by sniffing out breath and urine samples. As they live with us day in and day out, they have a pretty good memory of what our breath smells like. So when there are changes, they pick up on it.

How do dogs smell lactose intolerance?

There are no real studies relating to the ability of dogs to sniff out lactose intolerance. The dogs who do suffer from lactose intolerance usually have limited lactase, which is the enzyme which is needed to break down the lactose that they consume.A female dog’s milk only has around 3% lactose which is less than that of cow’s milk, which contains 5% lactose. So when dogs with lactose intolerance consume dairy products containing cow’s milk, they might start exhibiting symptoms of intolerance, even if they hadn’t previously done so during their pup stages.

The science behind a dog’s ability to sniff out cancer

When you have cancer, your body has cancerous cells which discharge certain metabolic wastes. The rest of your healthy cells don’t do this. Dogs can sniff out the change in the chemical changes in your cell structure. There would obviously be a difference in odor when so many of your cells are producing some sort of metabolic waste. Although we can’t smell this, our dogs can because of their heightened olfactory senses.

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