When Stephanie Herfel’s son was deployed overseas with the Air Force, he purchased his mom a Siberian Huskey to help keep her company. Little did he know the dog, named Sierra, would save his mother’s life numerous times.

In 2013 the dog sniffed his owner’s stomach so intently that Stephanie thought she must have dropped some food. But the dog continued to sniff. Then he ran into a closet and hid. She wondered what in the world was wrong with her dog.

Since she had been feeling pain in that area of her abdomen she went to the doctor to get it checked out. His diagnosis – an ovarian cyst. He gave her pain medication and sent her home from the ER without further testing.

Sierra Knew More than the Doctor

But Sierra wasn’t convinced. She continued to hide in the closet and act upset. She would roll up in a tight ball and refuse to come out. Stephanie decided she trusted her dog’s instincts more than the doctor’s diagnosis. She went to her own doctor and after further testing it turns out she had stage 3 ovarian cancer.

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She had surgery, took chemotherapy and was able to beat the cancer. But that’s not the end of the story.

Cancer Strikes Again

In 2015, Sierra again started acting anxious and worried. Stephanie went back to the doctor and was diagnosed with liver cancer.

Same story in 2016. Thanks to Sierra’s prompting, Stephanie discovered she had cancer in her pelvic area.

Stephanie’s son had no idea that Sierra would save his mothers life not once, not twice, but three times.

Perhaps Dr. Sierra should consider opening up her own cancer sniffing clinic.

According to Stephanie’s onocologist, Dr. Kushner, dogs can often sniff out various types of cancer with great accuracy.

Medical Emergency Response Dogs, MERD

In recent years, dog have been trained to assist patients with many medical problems. Diabetics run the risk of their sugar dropping too low causing serious complications. A trained dog can sniff this from their owners breath and warn them, even waking them up in the night to potentially save their life.

Dogs are also trained to help those who suffer from epilepsy. They can warn their owner that a seizure is starting to happen so they can take medicine or call for help.

Therapy dogs have long been used to offer support to people suffering from depression.

Turns out dogs are not only man’s best friend, but sometimes their medical saviors.

Written By

Melissa Maxwell

Melissa is a dog lover who enjoys sharing smart dog tips, inspirational stories and the joy that dogs bring. Follow us on social media for even more dog fun!


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