As we begin our first weekend of National Lockdown #3, many of us will be wondering when life is going to be back to normal. Many dogs have had the luxury of their owners being home more. Some households have welcomed new four legged friends in the last year or so. And then there is the charity who are quietly and furtively working with some very special canines. These COVID detection dogs could be a big help in our future detection and prevention of the spread of COVID.
Medical Detection Dogs Charity
For the past 12 years, Medical Detection Dogs rigorous research and work has proved how amazing the nose of a dog really is. Their Bio Detection Dogs smell the odours of diseases such as cancer and other life-threatening diseases, including Parkinsons, in samples like urine and breath. The Medical Assistance Dogs alert to impending medical events by detecting minute changes in their owner’s odour.
How to detect?
So the charity set about the work of finding out if COVID-19 had a smell. If other diseases have a smell, then perhaps COVID, the disease caused by the coronavirus, would have a smell. And if it did, could their dogs detect it? They gathered clothing samples from COVID patients and used these to train the dogs. The actual virus won’t have a smell but once someone is infected with the virus, the systems of the body that are affected may release new odours. It turns out COVID does have a smell and the dogs can detect it. The charity and their amazing COVID detection dogs are attracting the attention of the national press as another weapon against this catastrophic pandemic.
When will they start?
Medical Detection Dogs haven’t released their results yet. This will happen once robust data has been gathered. The work is still in the early stages but initial results look very promising. They are training a number of dogs to be able to detect COVID. And when 1 dog can screen up to 250 people an hour, it’s not difficult to imagine these four-legged soldiers patrolling the airport or train stations in the future.
How you can help?
Medical Detection Dogs is a wonderful charity that we are proud to work with. We supply all their accredited Assistance Dogs with the Black & Red collar, and we make a donation to the charity every time a Black & Red product is purchased. You can find out more about the charity and how to donate here. Or if you are interested to hear more about the charity you can join their webinar to learn more.