October has been named National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer has made an impact on humans and until a cure is found will continue to do so for many years to come. Follow Me Dog Training LLC supports awareness and the search for a cure.
But wait…this is a blog about dogs and dog training so where is the connection? Did you know that dogs can develop breast cancer as well?
According to Peteducation.com run by Doctor’s Foster and Smith, un-spayed female dogs are more susceptible to mammary tumors then females spayed before their first heat cycle. Male dogs can also develop mammary tumors but unfortunately for them it is usually aggressive and comes with a very poor prognosis. The vets at thepetcenter.com suggest you do a routine (once a month) check on your dog for mammary tumors and if you feel anything lumpy, make sure you point it out to your vet immediately so they can check it out.
How can your dog help find a cure for Breast Cancer? Well support Susan G. Komen for the Cure and have your dog wear a pink bandanna. Wilson Sporting Goods is the official sporting goods equipment sponsor for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, so do what Follow Me Dog Training LLC does when Leinie needs new Tennis Balls…go Pink!
Dogs are also being found to be a huge help detecting early stages of breast cancer. A dog’s nose has at least 20 times more olfactory receptors then humans do. Dogs have used their nose for all kinds of detection work. In 2006 a study was done to train 5 dogs to detect breast and lung cancer through breath samples.
“The scientists said dogs’ extraordinary scenting ability can distinguish people with both early and late stage lung and breast cancers from healthy people. The research, performed in California, was recently documented by the BBC in the United Kingdom, and is soon to be aired in the United States, researchers said.”
Dogs are also being used as therapy dogs for cancer survivors and those going through treatment. Providing people with much needed fuzz therapy and love, dogs can help survivors break through depression and rejoin the world. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, in 2007, introduced a group called Caring Canines to visit their breast and gynecologic cancer patients.
Breast Cancer affects everyone. It is hard to find someone that doesn’t know a friend or family member that has seen this cancer first hand. Follow Me Dog Training LLC hopes that a cure is found. While that is being worked toward, we hope that they continue to utilize dogs to help with detection and therapy.
Follow Me Dog Training LLC doesn’t train detection dogs, although we can teach you some cool games to get your dog using their nose more. Leinie and Pepper are not working therapy dogs although, Pepper has been visiting with my mom’s Irish Terrier Maggie (a therapy dog for more then 8 years) and provided great fuzz therapy. If you are interested in training your dog to be a therapy dog, Follow Me Dog Training LLC can help get your dog started along that route with training, clear communication, and CGC testing.
Follow Me Dog Training LLC offers FREE evaluations and demonstrations at your home, with your dog. Contact us to set something up.