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Medical Detection Dogs

Swanwick Lions support the charity Medical Detection Dogs. The charity works in partnership with researchers, NHS Trusts and Universities. The aim of the charity is to train specialist dogs to detect the odour of human disease.






  Dogs are renowned for their sense of smell. For centuries doctors have known diseases have characteristic odours which dogs may be able to detect. For example, cancer cells release small amounts of volatile substances. Cancer Detection Dogs are being trained to detect these volatiles and it is  hoped that this work and research will enable scientists to develop an early cancer screening system.

Medical Alert Dogs are trained to assist individuals who manage complex medical conditions on a day to day basis. The 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, 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.
The charity also provides 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.