Cat scan for cancer

I found this amazing story today, Cat nips owner’s lung cancer, about a cat named Tiger who diagnosed lung cancer in his person. He would not stop pawing the left side of this man’s chest which he mentioned to his doctor. They found a lung tumor right under where Tiger had been pawing! Because of Tiger’s quick action they were able to remove the tumor and it sounds like his person has a good chance of full recovery.

It is amazing to me how acute animals’ sense of smell is and how they are willing to help us. There have been a number of accounts of dogs diagnosing cancer by smell although this is the first one I have seen involving a cat. Service dogs can detect when people are about to have seizures by smell making it so that people with epilepsy can live normal lives. We all know the tales of the search and rescue dogs who find people buried under buildings or in the snow. And of course there are also the drug and explosive sniffing dogs at the airports and ferry docks.

I have had clients mention that sometimes it is another animal in the house that detects illness in their animal companion long before that animal shows any signs we can see. I know if I wound myself, my dogs will usually find where and want to check it out.

Here is another interesting story about cancer sniffing dogs, Can Dogs Sniff Out Cancer?. Puts a whole new meaning to getting a cat scan (or in a dog scan)!

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