Dog trained to sniff out nuts helps woman with severe allergy
NewsThursday 04 July 2013
A woman from Worcestershire who has a severe nut allergy has had her life changed by her dog, which has been trained to sniff out nuts in food.
Yasmine Tornbald, from Malvern, is at risk of going into anaphylactic shock from the smell of nuts, so this new canine companion has drastically improved her life.
Nano, the dog, is the first to be trained by the Buckinghamshire charity, Medical Detection Dogs, to help check for nuts.
Speaking to the BBC, she said: "It's given me a bit of independence back."
The poodle is four years old and has been trained to detect nut odour traces in food as well as in the environment.
Ms Tornbald now takes the dog with her everywhere she goes, even on her business trips.
"Normally when I stay at a hotel I start by cleaning out the room to be sure that there is no contamination - now I have Nano to double check.
"I can't imagine life without him now, " she added.
The charity is based in Milton Keynes and it has paired up over 30 dogs with people who have to manage a condition, such as diabetes. They are used to help respond in an emergency.
Simone Brainch, from Medical Detection Dogs, said it has already had enquiries from people with similar stories to Ms Tornbald.
"The difference it can make to a client who is suffering from a condition like this is very exciting," she added.
They have even, previously, trained dogs to sniff out cancer. The animals are able to pick out cancer samples from a set of controlled samples, however, the research has been mainly limited to bladder and prostate cancer.
Dogs are now being taught to detect breast cancer from a breath tube.