Stephanie Herfel knows that every time Sierra, her Siberian Husky, started sniffing her body lengthily and hiding in the closet afterward, something is wrong.
Sierra has a natural ability to detect cancer. She never had any formal training.
Stephanie got Sierra when it was still a 9-month-old puppy and when her son was deployed for the Air Force.
The Siberian Husky repeatedly sniffed at Stephanie’s abdomen and hid at the closet as if something had gravely frightened her.
That prompted Stephanie, who already had abdominal pains, to see a doctor in an emergency room who diagnosed her to have an ovarian cyst.
But Sierra would not stop hiding in the closet, making Stephanie suspect that there’s something else she needed to know.
So, off went Stephanie to a gynecologist who revealed that she had stage 3 ovarian cancer.
It turns out that the Siberian Husky is not merely acting up but was conveying a message. But Sierra’s efforts to protect her owner didn’t end there.
Stephanie had surgery and chemotherapy, and Sierra stopped acting strangely.
Later, Sierra started exhibiting the same strange behavior helping Stephanie find out that she was having a return bout with cancer.
Another recurrence of cancer was also detected by Sierra, who also detected cancer in Stephanie’s friend, who was already aware that she was afflicted with the disease.
Dogs have around 300 million olfactory receptors that help them detect cancer in humans.
Check out an earlier Pup Paper article about Beagles displaying a 97 percent accuracy in detecting cancer in the blood. By following this link.
To learn more about how dogs detect cancer in the following YouTube video by BBC Earth: