Friday, 09 November 2018 20:33

Can pets smell cancer?

An Oregon woman claims her cat helped her detect her breast cancer, and she’s not the first one to claim how furry friends can save lives.

Michelle Pearson adopted a cat, Mia, a few years back from the Humane Society. The one day she pounced on Pearson’s chest, sniffed her breast and directed her owner’s attention to the breast. Days later Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer.

She states, “All of a sudden out of nowhere, she just got up on my chest and she sniffed that breast and then looked in my face, sniffed the spot again and looked in my face and I tried to shove her off and she came back up and just laid down on that right breast and she looked at me like ‘I’m trying to tell you something.'”

She feels her rescue cat actually “rescued” her.

 

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A woman in California cited the same miracle. Nancy Best stated her dog, also named Mia, would not stop licking her breast. She was eventually diagnosed with breast cancer.

Sometimes animals may not always be friendly towards a diseased body part. My in-law’s poodle would shower everyone with licks except for one person who she would excessively bark at. He was soon diagnosed with brain cancer.

So, can dogs detect cancer?

 

PBS reports that dogs can smell 40 times better than humans, with over 300 million olfactory receptors in their nose. They can smell parts per trillion, a keen sense that is potentially sharp enough to pick up cancer cells and the smells they produce.

Healthline reports that cancer cells raise polyamine levels which come with an odor.  Moreover if cancer cells incite an immune response, this can expel a scent as well.

In 1989 a case report revealed a woman’s dog tried to bite a mole off her leg which ended up being malignant melanoma.

According to a 2011 study in the journal Gut, Labrador retrievers were able to sniff out colon cancer in 97% of stool samples.

The Italian Ministry of Defense’s Military Veterinary Center was successful in training German Shepherds to recognize prostate cancer proteins in urine to 98% accuracy.

For those of you with a pet pigeon, don’t feel left out. A University of Iowa study found pigeons to be trained to detect breast cancer cells to 85% accuracy.

So despite our animals possessing the power to sense microscopic anomalies, we shouldn’t panic every time they sniff or lick us.  But if they persist on one area of your body, it might be worth getting checked out.

Editor’s note: The folks over at Dogsnaturallymagazine.com also weigh on this topic citing numerous studies and anecdotal evidence all concluding that, yes, it’s very probable that dogs can sniff out ill health. As for cats smelling cancer, well - the research seems to suggest otherwise. Sorry, kitty lovers. =)

 

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Daliah Wachs is a guest contributor to GCN news, her views and opinions, medical or otherwise, if expressed, are her own. Doctor Wachs is an MD,  FAAFP and a Board Certified Family Physician.  The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

 

Published in Health
Thursday, 12 July 2018 14:58

Doggie Dictionary: 19 ways your dog speaks

For centuries man has tried to translate the “Ruffs”, “Yowls” and “Gruffs” of man’s best friend to no avail. But researchers at the University of Salford have been able to define 19 of the 47 dog gestures studied in footage by their owners.

“I wanted to better understand dogs and what they wanted from us … dogs are doing something similar to great apes, but they’re doing it across species. ” says study leader Hannah Worsley, a graduate student at the University of Salford in Manchester, England.

Dogs are using referential signals, which is a type of gesture conveying a message without using words. The study concluded that the following 19 referential dog signals mean:

 

  • Head under – “Get me my toy”
  • Roll over -- "Tickle my tummy"
  • Head forward – “Scratch me”
  • Hind leg stand – “Play with me”
  • Head turn – “Get me that”
  • Shuffle – “Scratch me”
  • Back leg up – “Scratch me”
  • Paw hover – “Get me my toy”
  • Crawl under – “Get me my toy”
  • Flick toy – “I’m hungry”
  • Jump – “I’m hungry”
  • Paw reach – “Give me that”
  • Nose – “Scratch me”
  • Lick – “Scratch me”
  • Front paws on – “Open it”
  • Paw rest – “Get me my toy”
  • Head rub – “Get me my toy”
  • Chomp – “Play with me”
  • Paw – “Get me my toy”

As you can see, Fido may be redundant, and possibly dangle his participle.  But many of us dog owners agree that these gestures hit the mark as we get positive reinforcement by our pets when we oblige, another sign they possess fine communication skills.

UZ

So when a dog puts both paws on the door, he wants it open. When he wiggles his body and tushee underneath the chair or your foot, he wants to be played with.  When he lies back and lifts his leg, or presses his nose against you, he wants to be scratched.  And when he stands on his hind legs, he wants food.

Now this is all fine and dandy but I’ll be impressed with researchers when they teach us how to translate to dogs the following:

  • Let me sleep
  • Keep Grandma from coming inside the house
  • Quit pooping on my carpet……..

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Daliah Wachs is a guest contributor to GCN news. Doctor Wachs is an MD,  FAAFP and a Board Certified Family Physician.  The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

 

Published in News & Information
Wednesday, 14 February 2018 19:46

America's Top Dog, 2018

The surprise “best in show” winner at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is Flynn, a bichon frise. A surprise pick too as, according to The Associated Press, "Fans who had been loudly shouting for their favorites fell into stunned silence when judge Betty-Anne Stenmark announced her choice." Well played, little underdog Flynn!

There were almost 3000 competing dogs representing 200+ breeds but it was little fluffy Flynn that brought home the purple ribbon. The other winners, by breed:

A few fun facts about the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

According to Wikipedia:  

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is an all-breed conformation show that has been held in New York City annually since 1877. Currently, the breed and Junior Showmanship competitions are held at Piers 92 and 94, while the group and Best in Show competitions are held at Madison Square Garden.”

 

Since 1877! That means the Westminster Dog Show is older than Shredded Wheat, automobiles, stop signs, bottle caps and zippers!

 

Also, according to Sports News, “The first show consisted of just gun dogs by a group of hunters who met regularly at Westminster Hotel. Original prizes for winning the show varied, with one such reward being pearl-handled pistols.”

 

And for some reason the Westminster Dog Show has traditionally, and heavily  - favored terriers, who have won best in show 46 out of the 103 times the prize has been given since 1907 with male dogs winning 71 times.

Finally, dog shows are not without their controversy. Some animal activist groups don’t like dog shows and want them banned. The major concerns revolve around negative breeding practices, which certainly happen; and the fact that the dogs, when going through the grooming process can be jostled around too much in ways that might make them uncomfortable.

This seems to be a fair argument but I doubt dog shows will be “banned” anytime soon. Furthermore, I suspect the overwhelming majority of dogs within said shows are lovingly handled and cared for. Perhaps, additional common sense care requirements can be implemented to weed out some of the more ridiculous grooming practices (like - dog eyeliner).

Other than that, dog shows are extremely popular and are here to stay. So if you find yourself organizing or participating in a dog show - keep those canines healthy and happy.

 

And they’ll do the same for you.  

 

Published in News & Information

I’ve been looking to adopt a dog for about two months now, and while I’ve been picky about what type of dog I want to adopt, potential pet owners are subject to a more investigative process than potential gun owners.

I want a dog for multiple reasons. I just bought a home with a fenced yard, so I finally have the space to get the type of dog I want. I’ve always liked big, lap dogs, specifically, those that have come to be called “aggressive breeds” or “bully breeds.” I’ve come to despise those monikers because a dog’s behavior is representative of its owner. So despite having big teeth and a large bite radius, an “aggressive breed” like a Rottweiler is only aggressive if the owner makes it so, just as a gun is only dangerous if the owner makes it so.

Now, if you want to call them “protective breeds,” I’d be fine with that, because that’s what they are -- protective of their owners. That’s just one of the reasons I want a dog. I live in a relatively high crime rate area, especially when it comes to vehicle and home burglaries, but I’d rather have a home security system that acts instead of phoning the police. A dog might not be a better deterrent than those home security stickers people put in their windows, but a home security system doesn’t have a personality, either. I’ll take the personality.

I’ve never owned a gun and have never come across a reason for owning a gun. I grew up shooting BB-guns with my grandfather like most Americans. I even hunted as a child (once) but still never felt a gun to be necessary. The first day I went hunting, I shot a Whitetail doe in the neck while it was running away from me -- the perfect shot for preserving the meat. I was praised by all the old men who accompanied my dad and me, but I wasn’t surprised by my ability. I was the best marksman in my hunter safety course, and yet I still didn’t feel comfortable using a gun. I didn’t think it was fair to the deer. I find bow-hunting more sporting, or even fishing.

I’ve also enjoyed firing handguns for recreation, but that’s not reason enough for me to own a handgun. It certainly wouldn’t be my first choice when it comes to home protection, but it is for too many Americans in my opinion. Stand-your-ground laws have only exacerbated this situation.    

I’ve submitted multiple applications revealing more about myself and my home than is required to get a gun. Some pet adoption agencies even require a home inspection, but getting a gun in this country is as simple as attending a gun show with enough cash in-hand or knowing someone with a gun looking to sell. I asked Minnesota Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar whether they thought legislation that would make the gun application process mirror the pet adoption process could pass Congress, and only got a vague, email response from Franken.

“We can...address gun violence by closing loopholes in the federal background check system so that guns don't get into the wrong hands, like convicted felons or people with serious mental illness,” the letter read.

The response doesn’t answer my question, of course, but I think members of all political parties can agree that “gun control” should start with controlling who can get guns. The fact we as a society are more concerned about who owns a dog than who owns a gun reveals plenty about the American way. Dogs, like guns, aren’t inherently dangerous. Dog owners and gun owners are dangerous. A dog in the wrong hands can be as dangerous as a gun in the wrong hands. Both can take a life.

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If you like this, you might like these Genesis Communications Network talk shows: The Costa Report, Free Talk Live, Flow of Wisdom, America’s First News, America Tonight, Bill Martinez Live, Korelin Economics Report, The KrisAnne Hall Show, Radio Night Live, The Real Side, World Crisis Radio, Lock ‘n Load

Published in News & Information
Friday, 28 July 2017 21:20

Dog Park Etiquette

Welcome to the dog park!

 

Your dog is going to love it here! No leash laws are enforced. We have a large fenced in areas for your dog to run around and roll in the dirt in equal measure! I promise you there will be an endless stream of dogs for your canine family member to socialize with.  

 

Off leash dog parks are great but there are plenty of ins and outs that should be respected. I have a thirteen pound mutt named Frodo (pictured above). I am lucky enough to work at a place where I can bring him to the office every day. I am also lucky enough to have the gorgeous Alimagnet Dog Park five blocks from my work location.

 

I bring Frodo to the dog park a lot. As much as three times a day. Usually we get in a fifteen minute visit before work, a thirty minute visit on my lunch break and a thirty to forty five minute visit after work. Three times a day, five days a week (as well as a time or two on the weekends). Multiply that by the two years my little furry companion and I have hung out together. That, my friend, is a great many trips to the dog park (almost two thousand).  

 

Which is why I have a lot to say about the topic. I see doggie malfeasance multiple times per week and it’s usually because the owner has done something dumb. I do not claim to be a Dog Whisperer but because of my extensive dog park visits I have a lot of common sense canine wisdom to offer. Most of it based on personal observation and some based on a copious amount of internet research. With that in mind, here are some doggie dos and don’ts while you and your canine companions visit off leash dog parks.

 

Do Not Bring Treats Into An Off Leash Dog Park!

 

Dogs like to know their place in the world. They like to know who is in charge, and if they are not the dog in charge it makes them comfortable to know their place in the doggie hierarchy. And this is important because the dogs that is in charge controls the resources.

 

At least that’s how it plays out in doggie world. Alpha dogs control the resources and then they allow dogs below them to partake of their resources. It’s the way of dog.

 

And now you’ve brought treats into the dog park. And it’s for selfish reasons -- you want the dogs to like you! Well, they will. They will swarm you. Dogs can smell your treat from a mile away.

 

The problem is that dogs with alpha personalities will want the treats (the resources) first. It confuses them if THEY KNOW they are the alpha dog and you are not recognizing it. And so you pass treats out willy-nilly to all the dogs you can reach. And so it goes -- Alpha Dog wants the treat and you give it to another dog. Alpha dog thinks, “The was MY treat!” This is a recipe for an instant dog fight.

This is an extreme example, it’s true. The overwhelming majority of the time you bring treats to the dog park, nothing bad will happen. Dogs will eat the treats, dogs will like you. But still, I’ve seen plenty of dogs fights over treats.

 

So there’s just no great reason to bring them to the dog park.

 

Pay Attention To Your Dog! All! The! Time!

 

Dogs are dogs. They don’t make good or bad decisions. They make dog decisions. You can not take your dog to an off leash park and then read a book, check your text messages or flirt with girls for twenty minutes all the while completely ignoring your dog and (more importantly) your dog’s behavior.

 

Your dog might be too aggressive. Your dog might be too submissive. Your dog might be getting bullied and is desperately giving you signals for help. Or, your dog might be the bully. But how would you know unless you pay attention

 

An off leash dog park is NOT a place where you can let you dog run wild with zero human supervision. You, the human, must monitor your dog at all times to watch for over aggressive or over submissive behavior. That’s one of your prime responsibilities as a dog owner.

 

If you notice “bad” behavior -- separate your dog immediately from the situation, calm your dog down and try again. Remember that young dogs will have a much easier time adapting to canine socialization than older dogs. Older rescue dogs come with canine baggage and a lot of times have been abused. So, while it’s true that dogs are social animals, some have been raised poorly and might not be able to handle an off leash park. But in order for you to know if your dog is right for the park, you have to pay attention to your canine, all the time.

 

So pay attention. And while you are paying attention ...

 

Pick Up Your Dog’s Poop. No, Seriously. Like - Every Single Time!

 

If you are not paying attention to your dog you will not notice when it poops. And it’s your responsibility to pick up after your dog.

 

And if you don’t want to pick up after your dog then don’t go to a dog park.

 

Ever.

 

Watch Out For Dog Obsession.

 

I didn’t even know this was a thing until I started attending dog parks. Dogs can get obsessed with another dog. Like stalker, rapey obsessed.

 

I see it all the time. Usually the obsession happens with a dog smaller than they. Frodo, for some reason, gets easily obsessed with five to eight pound fluffy yorkies and / or fluffy tiny poodles. And when Frodo is obsessed with a tiny, fluffy pooch, Frodo will not leave that poor dog alone! Frodo will ignore all other stimuli and follow that fluffy dog and sniff them and chase them and wrestle them and nip play with them and chew on their ears and try to hump dominate them at all times. Now I know the signs to watch for and I pull him away immediately when I see the obsession set it. But for a good long while I deluded myself into thinking, “They’re just playing.”

 

Obsessive dog behavior is not healthy dog play. Dog obsession will not stop unless you, the human, does something about it. If your dog exhibits obsession it’s best to pull your dog out of the situation and / or leash your canine and go somewhere else for a while.

 

What To Do In the Face of Aggressive Dog Behavior

 

I see aggressive dog behavior all the time. Some of it is innocent -- an overly energetic dog plays too hard and accidentally hurts another dog. I have seen actual aggressive dogs -- a white German Shepherd ran through the dog park and attacked three or four small dogs while the owner frantically chased after the Shepherd. But exceptionally bad experiences, such as the German Shepherd one, are very rare.

 

If dogs exhibit aggressive behavior -- leash them and / or remove them from the area immediately. Within thirty seconds your dog will be back to normal. Aggressive dog behavior can lead to dog fights. And dog fights suck. To be honest, they don’t happen often and when they do it’s usually posturing and not an actually bloody fight.

 

Here is a video showing a dog park scuffle. As the video says, “Sounds bad. Looks bad. No dog was actually harmed.” Most dog fights aren’t actual fights, per se. They are more like dogs jostling for position. That being said, you can see in the video that one dog is standing on top of the other dog for like ten seconds as both dogs stare into each others faces. The owners, frankly, should have separated those dogs immediately. And it looks as if one of the owners was trying to do just that BUT was one second too late and the dog fight occurred.

 

Again, if you see aggressive dog behavior remove your dog from the situation immediately before it leads to something worse.

 

And, of course, if your dog was the attacked the other dog owner will still blame your dog for being aggressive.

 

And that’s because …

 

Dog Owners Are Crazy People!

 

It’s true. The only people crazier are parents blindly defending their children (when it is obvious their child is in the wrong). Dog owners are like that.

 

Dog owners will insist their perfect, loving, charming, beautiful, kind, mellow [Dog Breed Name Here] would never, ever cause another living creature any harm. Ever. And if their perfect dog happens to act aggressive towards your dog -- the owner will, one hundred percent of the time -- blame your dog.  

 

If you happen to notice that your dog is getting into a lot of fights -- it’s probably not the fault of all the other dogs at the park. It’s probably -- your dog! So you should do something about that up to and including, not taking your dog to an off leash park.

 

Off leash dog parks are not for every canine. Some dogs, usually older rescue dogs are too scared, submissive or over protective. These poor doggies will run havoc at an off leash park.

 

Know your dog and act appropriately. The off leash dog park might not be for you. I have a friend who has the sweetest (fifty pound) rescue dog you can imagine. That dog LOOOOVES people. That dog, also, HAAAAAATES other dogs. My friend found out early on that his loving canine should not ever, ever, ever go to an off leash dog park.

 

It would be bad.

 

And to be honest, that’s kind of the hard part. Recognizing that your dog has issues. Yes, dogs are animals. But they are animals capable of a wide range of emotions and feelings.  It’s up to you, the human, to pay attention to your dog, know its body language, clean up after your pup and to try not act like a crazy person who lives in dog aggression denial. 

 

And now, if you'll excuse me, I must away and take Frodo to the dog park!

 

 

 

 

Published in News & Information