They’re known as man’s best friend, everyone’s most loyal companion and even a stress-reliever. But now, dogs are becoming an even greater asset to humans by sniffing out diseases. One Canadian dog in particular is getting ready to put his best paw forward and put his smelling abilities to good use.
Angus, Canada’s first C. difficile-sniffing dog–and an adorable English springer spaniel–is about to start his new job hunting down this harmful bacteria at Vancouver General Hospital this summer.
C. difficile is a bacterial disease that often lurks in hospitals (just in case you didn’t know). And though Angus may only be 2 years old, he’s destined to save the hospital, one bacterium at a time. Who knew a dog’s nose could sniff out something so small?
After Angus’ owner, Teresa Zurberg, almost died from C. difficile, she successfully put her experience as a trainer of bomb and drug-detecting dogs to good use by training Angus to detect C. difficile. The bacteria can also be 99.9 per cent eliminated by a UV light disinfectant after Angus sniffs it out, so he won’t get sick either.
“We strive to continue to find ways to provide better care, and sometimes the answer is not more technology, but instead, man’s best friend,” said Health Minister Terry Lake.
When microscopic diseases threaten you, he’ll be there to protect you. When you’re feeling sad and in need of a cute pick-me-up, he’ll be there to make you smile. Good on you, Angus. Good on you.