A BROMSGROVE veterinary practice is supporting the work of ‘super dogs’ who can smell diseases such as cancer.

Clent Hills Vets will be raising money for Medical Detection Dogs and Therapy Dogs Nationwide.

Medical Detection Dogs trains dogs to detect the odour of human disease in samples of urine, breath and swabs.

Bio-detection dogs can sniff the odour of diseases such as cancer, malaria and some neurological diseases.

The charity also trains dogs to be Medical Alert Assistance Dogs, able to detect minute changes in someone’s personal odour triggered by a medical condition.

Clent Hills’ head vet Alun Edwards first learned about Medical Detection Dogs from a client, Stephanie Daley and her dog Bounce.

Stephanie’s teenage son, Harrison, had been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2008 and suffered regular hypos.

His fear of going to sleep at night in case he experienced a hypo, combined with bullying at school, began to affect his mental health.

Stephanie said: “Bounce came bounding into our lives when we needed him most. His ability to detect hypos, 20 minutes before they occur, has helped Harrison grow in confidence and better manage his condition.”

Clent Hills Vets is also supporting Therapy Dogs Nationwide.

Therapy dogs have very calm and gentle natures and the benefits of Animal Assisted Therapies (AAT) have been extensively studied.

Therapy Dogs Nationwide works with volunteers and their dogs to provide therapeutic visits within their local communities to schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, care homes, hospices and prisons.

Benefits can include improvement in a person’s general health and wellbeing, increased confidence levels, improved and controlled movement, and enhanced communication skills.

Amy Holloway, marketing manager at Clent Hills Vets, said: “We have been aware of the charity for several years through our clients Jackie and Keith Medler and their therapy assessed rough collies, Merryn and Orla. Every week Jackie takes Merryn to visit Holywell Primary School in Rubery and Chadsgrove School in Bromsgrove, to help younger children with their reading and confidence levels.”

Both charities rely solely on donations and Clent Hills Vets will be running fundraising activities throughout the year.

Staff would also like to hear from anyone who has personally experienced the benefits of a medical detection or therapy dog.

Email your stories to theteam@clenthillsvets.co.uk