Why Aren't There More Dogs at the Doctor's Office?

That’s the question that Mena Davidson, a doctoral student in ecology at the University of Michigan, asks. At JSTOR Daily, she describes how dogs’ powerful sense of smell is increasingly being harnessed by medical professionals for diagnostic purposes. Trained dogs can reliably detect forms of breast and lung cancer, the C. difficile bacterium, and even COVID-19.

It’s not necessary to literally bring dogs into the offices of primary care providers in order to interact with patients. Dogs can work in laboratories to smell samples of blood, urine, sweat, and breath from patients.

Davidson argues that pilot studies have already demonstrated clear advantages to dogs in the field of medical detection. Now it’s time for “large-scale, reproducible studies” so that medical researchers can make concrete claims about dogs in human medicine.

-via Marginal Revolution | Photo: Simon King

#dogs #medicine

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