A Wisconsin woman, battling recurrent cancer, has praised her dog for detecting the cancer on three separate occasions. As reported by the Journal Sentinel, Stephanie Herfel’s husky, Sierra, first alerted to the ovarian cancer back in 2013. She told the Sentinel, “She put her nose on my lower belly and sniffed so intently that I thought I spilled something on my clothes. She did it a second and then a third time. After the third time, Sierra went and hid. I mean hid!”
Herfel underwent cancer treatment and thought that she had eradicated the disease until Sierra let her know, once again, that the cancer was back. The second time was in 2015 – like the time before, Sierra appeared frightened after sniffing Herfel – the dog’s uncanny ability to sniff out the deadly cancer cells was enough to send Herfel to the doctor. She learned that the cancer had returned and was in her liver.
The third “canine cancer alert” happened in 2016 – as in the times before, Sierra hid in fear after sniffing Herfel. This time, Herfel learned that the cancer was in her pelvic area.
Because of Sierra’s ability to detect the cancer, Herfel obtained life-saving treatment and today, she is a five year survivor. She told the news agency, “I just feel like my story can let people think about their animals and think, ‘Wow, my animal did this when I got diagnosed.’ Just to give the animals credit that they are pretty smart.”
Sierra’s ability to sniff out the cancer is amazing, but not unheard of. A few years ago, a basset hound mix named Brinkley sniffed out an aggressive cancer which was growing in his owner, Marilyn Mallory’s, breast. Because of the dog, Mallory went to the doctor and received treatment before it was too late.
And two years ago, an adopted hound used his stellar sense of smell to sniff out basal cell carcinoma on her adopted mom’s nose. These are but a few instances which reveal the incredible ability that dogs have for detecting cancer with their nose – and because of that, it would definitely be prudent to pay attention if your canine pal starts sniffing you in earnest and acting strange.
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