Your Morkie’s amazing nose

Your Morkie’s amazing nose

A dog’s sense of smell is amazing. Dogs have 300 million scent receptors compared to our 6 million, and can smell early stages of cancer, a diabetic attack, even 1 bedbug deep in a mattress.  There’s only one word to describe a dog’s sense of smell:

amazing

It’s hard to picture just how powerful a dog’s sense of smell can be: anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 better than ours!

Picture 2,000,000 barrels of apples. Your Morkie could snuff out ONE BAD APPLE from the 2 million barrels!

 

rotten apple

Who smelled it better?

OK, to recap: the number of receptor cells that make up a dog’s sense of smell: 300,000,000. In people, 6,000,000.  A dog’s ability to process that sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more efficient than ours. And the part of a dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times bigger.

Keep your Morkie’s nose in good shape – read more.

Just look at what Morkies can snuff out!

  • bedbugs – even just one, deep in a mattress
  • early stage cancer in small samples of human urine, saliva or expelled breath
  • the spikes and drops in human blood sugar that is diabetes
  • dogs can smell fear, anxiety, even sadness
  • adrenaline, so they know if someone’s about to run
  • a dog can detect CDs and DVDs (layers of ‘polycarbonate plastic) in bags and packages, inside a truck. These dogs alert police to large stashes of pirated movies
  • narcolepsy service dogs can detect a subtle biochemical change in the form of an odour when an attack is coming on
  • migraines – dogs can alert sufferers up to 2 hours ahead, that a headache is on its way

We come home and smell beef stew cooking. Your Morkie can smell each and every spice, ingredient and liquid — separately. According to author (“Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know”) and dog expert Alexandra Horowitz, while we might notice if our coffee has had a teaspoon of sugar added to it, a dog could detect a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water, or two Olympic-sized pools worth. Another dog scientist explains that dogs smell in 3-D; each nostril can register different scents separately.

Nose to nose who wins out?

Dogs – 1 zillion

People – 7

Scientists agree: dogs are GOOD for you!

Scientists agree: dogs are GOOD for you!

More than one recent study has documented, beyond a doubt, that owning a dog can help:

  • reduce stress
  • improve your enjoyment of life
  • encourage an active lifestyle by promoting more exercise
  • improve depression
  • lower blood pressure
  • and more

But there’s lots more: dogs are even trained to detect oncoming epileptic seizures and diabetic shock.

Getting an epilepsy-predicting dog is a reality

There are special service dogs trained to predict an epileptic seizure. They can alert the person by barking, or send an alarm to a caregiver. These dogs have also been trained to:

  • lie next to someone having a seizure to prevent injury.
  • put their body between the seizing individual and the floor to break the fall at the start of a seizure.
  • fetch medication

(Approximately 65 million people around the world have epilepsy.)

Called Seizure Dogs, they’re a tremendous resource for anyone who lives wondering when the next attack might come. For children especially, a Seizure Dog can protect them from injuries, such as falling, and also give kids the confidence to llive with the daily struggle of epilepsy.

Even more amazing is the fact that many people report that their family dog already predicts and protects people in his family — with no formal training!

Joretta has had epilepsy since she was fourteen and utilizes Atco as her seizure alert dog. She has violent, partial complex seizures at least once or twice a week and needs assistance from a family member at those times. When Joretta had a seizure during her first days of team training, it was Atco’s body laying over her that kept her lying down and safe. Now, when Joretta has a seizure, Atco pushes the ‘life alert’ button which notifies her partner, who works seven miles away. Atco also provides balance and stability when Joretta is feeling weak.

 

 

How do dogs do it?

Gregory Holmes, a neurologist at Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire, says the dogs could be detecting a change in smell.

“People have autonomic changes, such as increased sweating, which a dog could pick up on.”

According to Douglas Nordli, director of the children’s epilepsy center at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, such external changes could result from a small electrical discharge that occurs in the brain before the full blown electrical seizure. (New Scientist Journal)

 

The DAD or diabetes alert dog

Other specially trained, medical alert assistance dogs, can alert their owners to an oncoming diabetic episode of low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. They seem to smell the change in the person’s breath, as a result of the dangerously low sugar levels in the blood, and alert the owner. The diabetic can take action before he becomes shaky, confused, disoriented – or even passes out.

 

diabetes alert dog

Rocket the poodle brings a diabetes emergency kit to his owner Annegret Pross in Margetshoechheim, Germany, on March 17, 2015.

 

 

The dog’s unique sense of smell

Besides alerting a medical condition, dogs have been used for many years in law enforcement, sniffing out bombs and other explosive devices, missing people, drugs and even the dead. These seeming miracles can be explained because of the dog’s unique sense of smell.

Estimated to be at least 40 times greater than the human sense of smell, dogs have a super STRONG sense, plus the smells remain ‘separate’ for them. So where a person walks into a home and smells stew, a dog smells each and every ingredient, separately.

Where we have about 6 million olfactory receptors in our nose, dogs have 300 million!

So the diabetic-episode-alerting-dog can smell out a volatile chemical compound that diabetics release just before an attack, even though scientists themselves have not yet been able to identify that exact compound!

 

your dogs amazing sense of smell

James Walker, former director of the Sensory Research Institute at Florida State University, www.pbs.org