Dog who sniffed out owner’s breast cancer: Meet Flo the ‘wonder pug’

April 22nd, 2013
Posted by | Posted in Dog behavior 731 views

FloAn animal rescue worker received a rescue of her own when her dog alerted her to a cancerous growth in her breast.

Marian Cooper, 57, knew something was up when her six-year-old pug, Flo, kept repeatedly nudging her right breast.

The Birmingham, UK, woman performed a self-exam and realized she had a lump.

She received medical attention and was declared cancer-free in December.

“Flo kept nudging me and digging at me — no matter how many times I put her on the floor she would always climb back up,” Cooper said.

“I thought she was just being annoying, but without her I’d probably be dead.

“The lump was so deep I wouldn’t ever have found it without Flo the wonder pug.”

Doctors told Cooper she had a grade 3 malignant tumor. At this stage, tumors are expected to grow rapidly, spreading the cancer faster. But her tumor was discovered in time for it to be successfully removed.

Flo isn’t the only pooch to help sniff out disease. Cancer-sniffing canines are a growing area of medical research.

Scientists around the world have studied dogs’ ability to detect bladder cancer from urine samples, and lung and ovarian cancers from sniffing a person’s breath, to name a few examples.

In a 2011 Japanese study, a black Labrador was able to sniff out colorectal cancer with 98 percent accuracy — a better rate than common medical tests.

Cooper maintains she would never have found the lump without her dog’s help.

“I tried using the flat of my hand like the doctors say, but I couldn’t find anything,” she said. “I only found the lump when I really poked around.”

Cooper, who runs The Animal House Rescue Center in Birmingham, took in Flo when the dog was four years old. Once a breeding dog, she now suffers from a heart condition.

“I try not to give her any special treatment, but I did buy her a huge steak the day I got back from hospital – it was doctor’s orders.

“She can’t understand what she’s done for me. It’s incredible. I don’t know how she found the cancer but I can never thank her enough.”

~ Courtesy of Daily Mail

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