KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — Dogs can recognise the scent of seizures in people, a study found, sparking hope that canine pets could one day anticipate episodes and protect patients.
AFP reported that researchers in France used five dogs called Casey, Dodger, Lana, Zoey and Roo to sniff out the smell of a human seizure.
The dogs were presented with various scents taken from epileptic patients, including body odours from calm activity, during exercise, and during a seizure.
Casey, Dodger and Zoey reportedly recognised the seizure scent accurately all the time, while Lana and Roo got it right two out of three times.
“The results went beyond our expectations by showing that there is indeed a general odour of an epileptic seizure,” Amelie Catala, a researcher at the University of Rennes and lead study author, was quoted telling AFP.
“We hope it will open new lines of research that could help anticipate seizures and thus get patients to seek security.”
AFP reported that dogs were previously shown to be able to smell certain diseases like cancer, malaria and diabetes.
This new experiment, however, showed that dogs could possibly diagnose short acute health episodes.
“The study of odours by the use of dogs constitutes a fast, low-cost, non-invasive, and effective screening method of diseases that can be difficult to identify normally,” Catala was quoted saying.
Her research paper was reportedly published in Nature Scientific Reports.