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Dog detects cancer that emergency room doc misdiagnosed

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2018 | Failure To Diagnose

One woman in another state proved that dogs can be women’s best friends, too. Her Siberian husky’s odd reactions to her led the woman to seek treatment for abdominal pain. However, the doctor at the Emergency Room only prescribed a narcotic painkiller after diagnosing her condition as an ovarian cyst.

Spooked by her dog’s response to her — extended sniffing of her lower abdomen followed by the dog recoiling and retreating in fear — led to the woman insisting her gynecologist do lab tests and give her a pelvic ultrasound.

The woman was diagnosed with stage 3C ovarian cancer. She had a total hysterectomy and splenectomy and had to submit to rounds of chemotherapy. Nevertheless, her cancer returned two more times, and her husky reacted the same way during both recurrences.

What could have happened if her dog did not possess the uncanny ability to not just sniff out cancer but be able to draw the owner’s attention to the situation? Unfortunately, it’s likely she would have succumbed to the cancer if she had listened to the ER doctor who diagnosed her only with a cyst.

The woman’s oncologist told her that her dog was one of the few canines with a natural ability to sniff out cancer. The dog also reacted the same with two other individuals who had cancer, and the oncologist stated that in other dogs with similar abilities, their accuracy was nearly 100 percent.

Of course, no one should have to rely on their canine companions’ diagnostic skills to detect cancer. Missed diagnoses mean lower survival rates, and with malignancies, that can mean death.

If you suffered from a worsened condition or lost a loved one due to a doctor’s misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, you may be able to recover damages due to physician malpractice.