Most people know that Medical Detection Dogs is a charity that is very close to our hearts. That’s why we were excited to hear that they have received the go-ahead from the Ethics Committee of the Bucks NHS Trust to perform the very first European breast cancer detection trial.

Early diagnosis is absolutely key in treating breast cancer and securing better outcomes for patients. One of the most common ways of detecting breast cancer is through a mammogram. But this method of detection isn’t always the most effective. For instance, some forms of cancer aren’t detected during the tests. In addition, if a woman is under the age of 50, regular mammogram checks are not always offered.

This is why the work of Medical Detection Dogs is so exciting. The charity trains dogs within the UK to detect various forms of cancer - including prostate, bladder and renal cancer - by essentially smelling urine samples of patients. To many people, this method of detection may sound unreliable at best. But unbelievably, using the olfactory traits of dogs to detect these cancers has a 93 percent success rate.

A selection of studies have suggested that volatiles, which are what dogs can detect from cancer cells, may appear on a person’s breath in the early stages of breast cancer. The founder of Medical Detection Dogs, Dr Clare Guest, will lead the trials with the help of Rob Harris, the bio-detection manager. A total of six dogs will be trained, with the best performing four to be forwarded onto the trial.

It’s an incredibly promising development for the charity. As always, we’re exceptionally proud to provide free Oscar & Hooch collar and lead sets (in a distinctive black and red design) to all qualified assistance dogs at Medical Detection Dogs.

If you’d like to support the work of Medical Detection Dogs, please visit their website and make a donation. For further information about Oscar & Hooch products, please call +44 (0)1934 713 667, or email [email protected].