A fox red Labrador, who was the star cancer detection dog at the charity Medical Detection Dogs, has died at the age of 13.
Daisy was trained as a puppy to sniff out the smell of disease on urine samples donated by volunteers. She tested over 6,500 samples and identified correctly over 550 cases of cancer.
The charity, which is based in Buckinghamshire, works in partnership with researchers, NHS Trusts and universities to train specialist dogs to detect the odor of human disease.
In training trials, Daisy achieved 93% reliability, the highest of all the dogs at the charity’s centre.
Daisy even saved her owner’s life, Claire Guest, now CEO of Medical Detection Dogs, when she detected a deep-seated tumor. Daisy nudged persistently at Claire’s chest until she decided to get it checked by a doctor.
The life saving dog was even awarded a Blue Cross medal for her work.
Claire Guest, owner of Daisy and the CEO of Medical Detection Dogs, said: “Daisy was beautiful, gentle special dog, who has been my lifeline over 13 years. Her work persuaded many of the possibilities of a revolutionary way to detect cancer. Her legacy will live on in the work of the charity and will lead to advances never thought possibly.”
Daisy had been working on a trial into detecting prostate cancer that is due to be completed next year. The team of eight dogs, including Daisy’s niece Florin, will continue her work to develop a cheap, reliable and non evasive test for prostate cancer that has the potential to save thousands of lives.