Cancer or Bedbugs: Get a Second Opinion

My dad’s hospital room  was visited by a sniffer dog. Was it sniffing for illegal drugs?  Certainly, it couldn’t be sniffing for bombs. But, no! I was told by a nurse it was for ‘hygiene.’ My father hadn’t been bathed properly for a week. What would happen if a patient had an unacceptable body odor? Would the staff get reprimanded? What if it was a visitor and not a patient…then what??

To my surprise, this dog was sniffing for bed bugs. After the outbreak in NYC, Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has every room sniffed once a week. These specially trained canines boast a 97% accuracy in finding live infestations. This is compared to only 30% accuracy of humans with visual detection.

The eggs of these bloodsucking insects are off-white to yellowish which makes them hard to see on light colored mattresses, bed sheets and carpets. The adults are no longer than a quarter of an inch and are excellent at hiding. These insects expertly camouflage themselves which is why more companies are relying on the keen sense of smell that dogs possess to find these blood-sucking creatures.

Since I never heard of dog-sniffers for bed bugs, I did a little research. Naturally, there are plenty of individuals in the pest control industry that are skeptical about the use of dogs for detection. Like humans, dogs are not perfect. Sometimes they give the alert for a bed bug infestation when what they really want is a treat which they will receive after each alert.

Bottom line: Whether it’s a diagnosis of cancer or bed bugs, get a second opinion before undergoing the distress and expense  for treatment.

That is my Dad’s back in the video. Dad had a thyroid cancer that invaded his trachea requiring a tracheal resection at the ripe age of 83. That’s right, 3 rings of his trachea were removed. It’s healing slower than we hoped….but there is progress each day.  Since he will be there at least two weeks, I guess we will meet Trixie the bed-bug sniffing dog again.

Do you have any questions you want me to ask the owner?

 

 

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