Leading pet accessory company, Oscar & Hooch recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Medical Detection Dog Charity by promoting their Black and Red Medical Detection collars and leads.
Oscar & Hooch have been partners to the charity since 2012 and continue to donate money to them by giving away 10% of the proceeds of the sale of these particular collars and leads. They also provide each qualified dog with their own Black and Red Medical Detection Signature collar and lead.
Medical Detection Dogs are trained to detect the odour of human disease. It is at the forefront of the research into the fight against cancer and helping people with life-threatening diseases. The Bio-Detection Dogs are trained to find the odour of diseases in samples such as urine and swabs. The Medical Alert Assistance Dogs are trained to detect minute changes in an individual’s personal odour triggered by their disease and alert them to an impending medical event. The charity receives no government funding for the work they do and rely entirely on the generosity of donations from trusts and the public.
The dogs are a mixture of breeds including Labradors and working spaniels and are chosen according to their ability and it generally takes 6-8 months for a dog to reach a good level of performance. All the bio-detection dogs live in homes as part of a caring family with fantastic volunteer fosterers, and lead normal, happy lives as pet dogs. They are dropped off in the morning and picked up in the evening from the centre in Great Horwood near Milton Keynes.
The fundamental training method is a reward based one using clicker training for all bio-detection work. Dogs are rewarded with a food treat or tennis ball play when they make an accurate assessment of the samples they are working on. It is hoped that in the future the dogs will be able to provide second line diagnostic support for cancers that are currently difficult to diagnose reliably, such as prostate cancer. The charity’s research will also inform and enable the development of electronic systems using the information that the dogs have told the researchers.
Claire Guest, CEO Medical Detection Dogs, said:
“We are proud of the work of our dogs; their ability to detect human disease and save human lives is becoming better recognised every day. Partnering with Oscar & Hooch means our dogs wear a high quality lead and collar in colours that people now associate with our work. We are so grateful for the support of Oscar & Hooch in helping us to achieve our goals.”
Medical Alert Assistance Dogs are currently trained to assist people living with Type 1 diabetes, Addison’s, severe nut allergy, and PoTS. The charity also considers individuals with other life threatening conditions. Dogs are trained using samples collected from the client when they are experiencing an episode. The dogs are trained to identify the unique odours. The type of alert will vary depending on the needs of the client.
The total cost of training and placing a Medical Alert Assistance Dog is £29,000. The average annual cost of a bio detection dog project is approximately £150,000.
Elaine Steckler, Founder of Oscar & Hooch said:
“At Oscar & Hooch we are very proud to be partners with Medical Detection Dogs. This fantastic charity work tirelessly in undertaking groundbreaking research and training medical assistance dogs, allowing them to identify dangerous health conditions with the people they live with.”
Style, comfort, practicality and durability are the hallmarks of the Oscar & Hooch brand. All collars and leads are machine washable and are handmade in luxury soft suedette made right here in the UK.
Elaine Steckler from Oscar & Hooch along with Dr Claire Guest Co-Founder, CEO and Director of Operations of Medical Detection Dogs will be appearing on the award-winning The Queen Silvy Show in the USA on 23 July. The show which is broadcast on the Fishbowl network has a worldwide audience of 2.8 million listeners and goes on air at 5 pm UK time and is streamed online www.fbrn.us (grey stream)