'My horse knew I had brain cancer before I did'

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Kelly Ann Alexander with her horse AliyanaImage source, Kelly Ann Alexander
Image caption,
Kelly Ann Alexander with her horse Aliyana

A woman has told how she truly believes her pet horse was trying to tell her she had cancer.

Kelly Ann Alexander, from Blackburn in West Lothian, said she was puzzled why Aliyana paid so much attention to the right-hand side of her head.

Following several seizures, the 43-year-old was eventually diagnosed with two brain tumours in 2015.

She has since recovered after having had an operation, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Mrs Alexander, who still has a weak left side, said she would never give up her horse, which was a wedding present.

'Special bond'

She told BBC Scotland's Mornings with Kaye Adams programme: "I couldn't work out why she was trying to sniff my head.

"I was trying to think did I have different shampoo? But I always had the same shampoo and she kept sniffing the right hand side of my head.

"I've got a special bond with Aliyana and I will never give her up as she is part of the family now."

Image source, Kelly Ann Alexander

Mrs Alexander said she had previously suffered seizures but her brain tumour was not diagnosed until later.

She said: "When I was taken to hospital after collapsing with a seizure the doctors more or less said it was an alcohol problem and they told me to go to my GP when I had sobered up.

"I had never had a drink for weeks though.

"At worst I thought I had epilepsy, never did I think I had two brain tumours."

Hugh Adams, Brain Tumour Research's charity spokesman, said he had heard of similar stories where animals appear to detect cancers.

He added: "What was really interesting with what Kelly Ann has been saying was the problems of her own route to diagnosis through her doctors.

"That is truly shocking to be told to go home and sober up.

"It is something we hear about all too frequently because brain tumours are comparatively rare and the route to diagnosis can be problematic because GPs don't know enough about the symptoms."

Symptoms of brain tumours include headaches, vision problems, nausea, seizures, personality changes or changes to the senses.

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