Dog trained to detect nuts changes life of allergy sufferer
- 2 July 2013
- From the section England
A Worcestershire woman with a severe allergy to nuts has had her life changed by a dog that has been specially trained to sniff them out.
Yasmine Tornbald, from Malvern, can go into anaphylactic shock from even the smell of nuts.
Her dog, Nano, is the first to be trained by the Buckinghamshire charity, Medical Detection Dogs, to help check for nuts.
"It's given me a bit of independence back," she said.
The four-year-old poodle has been trained to detect nut odour traces in both food and the environment.
Ms Tornbald now takes the dog with her everywhere, even on 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, based in Milton Keynes, have paired up more than 30 dogs with people who have to manage a condition, like diabetes, so they can 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.
The charity has previously taught dogs to 'sniff out' cancer.
Their dogs can now pick out cancer samples from control samples, but research has been mainly limited to bladder and prostate cancer.
Dogs are now being taught to detect breast cancer from a breath tube.