What does it take to become a life-saving Medical Detection Dog?

Meet Ivan, who is being assessed on his skills as a medical alert assistance dog. As a Labrador cross golden retriever, going into a restaurant or a coffee shop somewhere where they’re selling food could be quite distracting. This assessment makes sure that he’s sociable but well-mannered, and well-controlled. At Medical Detection Dogs, they have medical alert assistance dogs, who work with an individual, alerting them to a life-threatening condition that they have. They also have bio-detection dogs, who are trained to work on a unique medical condition odour to help shape and support, medical science. Some of the projects include prostate cancer , malaria, Parkinson’s, and even Covid-19.

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These bio-detection dogs can essentially sniff out serious diseases in their early stages, meaning patients can get diagnosed and treated quickly.

Through this technique, the charity’s aim is to develop faster, more efficient and less invasive diagnostics.

The charity also trains Medical Alert Assistance Dogs, who go on to live with people who have life-threatening conditions such as Type 1 diabetes and severe allergies, so they’re always around to let them know if their health is at risk, or if their condition has changed.

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So far, the charity has placed around 150 Medical Alert Assistance Dogs, all of whom live with people diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, Addison’s, severe nut allergies and Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).

The charity has a no-kennel policy so the dogs all live in homes as part of a caring family, either with a volunteer or member of staff.

Similar to humans working a 9-5, the dogs are dropped off in the morning and picked up in the evening.

Meanwhile, Medical Alert Assistant Dogs are placed with their owners, so they can pick up any changes in their condition, at any hour.

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The cost of training and placing a dog is around £29,000, with costs being covered by supporters, charitable trusts, foundations and members of the public.

Talking about the difference your support could make to the charity, Medical Detection Dogs founder, Dr Claire Guest says: ‘Everything we do costs money, so the Metro.co.uk Lifeline campaign will enable us to carry on our very vital work.

‘It will help us support people with life-threatening illnesses through our amazing assistance dogs and allow us to carry on working on our very important research projects.

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‘We really want to continue making a difference and we know we can do that with your help.’

You can donate here: https://www.medicaldetectiondogs.org.uk/giving/