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MUSC Pet Therapy program helping traumatized patients

Charleston, South Carolina (WCBD)- Medical University of South Carolina has a Pet Therapy program that's helping patients rehabilitate faster. It's a volunteer program in which 46 dogs take part in.

Therapy dogs have a superior sense of smell, and often before a person even begins to feel physical symptoms, dogs can pick up on an odor released when there is a change in a person's blood sugar levels.

This happens, according to Nicholas H. Dodman, BVMS, program director of the Animal Behavior Department of Clinical Sciences at Tufts Cumming School of Veterinary Medicine, because the body releases chemicals, like ketones, in response to hypoglycemia.

Like narcotic dogs that sniff out drugs or search–and–rescue dogs that detect people, some dogs appear to be able to recognize the unique odor of certain chemicals released by the body.

Alfred Hoffman and his dog Lucky have been volunteering at MUSC since February of 2013 and have logged nearly 1,100 hours of service. They have changed the lives of so many patients by the use of a dogs love.


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