Scotty dog research helps to fight cancer

THE Scottish terrier is being used by American scientists in the fight against cancer.

A Scotty features at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Picture: Jane Barlow

The breed is known for its feisty and self-assured character, but scientists have long known that it is particularly susceptible to bladder cancer. Now researchers have used pioneering research to hone their ability to detect the disease in its early stages in the dogs, driving forward treatment methods for humans.

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Scotties are around 20 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than mixed-breed dogs. Last September, Purdue University in Indiana launched a three-year study to screen 100 healthy Scotties and see if the disease can be detected early. In February the scientists reported finding three times as much cancer or pre-cancer in “normal” Scottish terriers than they had expected.

Dr Deborah Knapp said: “Normally we would not convey the results of a three-year study in the first six months. But this is different because we are already seeing remarkable results.”