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Health > Diagnosis 2012
Last revised: January 10, 2013

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In the future, Will you pay a lab to have a bloodhound sniff your butt? Yes, if ...

In the future, will you pay a lab to have a bloodhound sniff your butt! Yes, if the lab is a laboratory (not a Labrador retriever) that owns a bloodhound that can sniff out colon cancer, cervical cancer, or other problems down there as effectively as dogs can detect the symptomatic smells of diabetes, lung cancer, explosives, illicit drugs, bedbugs, ... However, sniffing your breath or perspiration may be all that the dog needs, because some experts say that a breath-test can find any compound that a blood-test can find. Far-fetched? We submit the following evidence:

"Dogs Sniff Out Lung Cancer in Humans" (WebMD, 8/17/12)

"[I]n June, researchers in Japan reported that dogs could detect the presence of colon cancer in human breath and stool samples with nearly 90% accuracy, a success rate only slightly lower than colonoscopy." 

"Dogs Sniff Out Lung Cancer in Humans" (WebMD, 8/17/12)

"Dogs can sniff out lung cancer, pilot study shows" (France24, 12/5/12)

"[A] new study, ... published in the European Respiratory Journal, found that four trained dogs -- two German shepherds, an Australian shepherd, and a Labrador retriever -- correctly identified cancer in 71 of 100 samples from lung cancer patients. They also ruled out cancer in 372 out of 400 samples that were known not to have cancer, giving them a very low rate of false positives, about 7%."   

"What Your Breath Reveals" (WSJ, 10/8/12)

"'Anything you can have a blood test for, there is potentially a breath test for, as long as there is a volatile component,' says Raed A. Dweik, director of the pulmonary vascular program at the Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute. Breath tests are also painless, faster to return results and potentially less expensive than blood tests—and easy to repeat as often as needed, even while patients are sleeping or exercising."

"Service Dogs Pick Up Scent of Diabetes Danger" (WSJ, 12/10/12)

Shana Eppler's dog, Gracie, rings a bell and wakes up Shana about twice a night. This makes Shana happy, because the bell indicates that Shana's daughter, Abbie, a diabetic, needs more or less blood sugar.  Gracie "... bows to signal a low blood sugar and waves a raised paw to show a high level. When Gracie waves and then bows, it means that Abbie's sugar is high but falling." Dogs with great noses and the required training can sell for $20,000.

"Ability of Bed Bug-Detecting Canines to Locate Live Bed Bugs and Viable Bed Bug Eggs" (OneHealthInitiative, 2008)

One study indicates that dogs can distinguish bedbugs from other critters, and viable bedbugs and viable eggs from dead ones, more than 95% of the time, with less than 3% false positives.

"Bed Bug Dog Roscoe" (Facebook, acc. 1/5/13)

Dogs with great noses and training have gained fame and fortune--at least, for their owners.

"Doubts Rise on Bedbug-Sniffing Dogs" (NYTimes, 11/12/10)

A bedbug-sniffing dog can sell for $11,000. Yet, in the field they may not be perfect. Jessica Silver and her husband paid $3,500 for extermination, when a dog indicated that bed bugs were present. That didn't stop the biting. Another exterminator found no live or dead bugs at the scene, but found rodent mites. . "Mrs. Silver did not want to name the bedbug-sniffing dog company she used. After she posted details of her case on an online bedbug forum, she said a company representative threatened to sue her for slander (emphasis added), and the moderator of the forum took her post down."

"slander" (, acc. 1/5/13)

"libel" (, acc. 1/5/13)

Not to split hairs or practice law, but states that slander is spoken defamation, and written defamation is libel.