I had barely recovered from my — Doggy Doo and Puppy Pee On Your Doorstep — article when I happened to step into a couple of sort-of related health articles dealing with dog snouts up your bum and fecal transplants.

Canine scent detection may be an effective means of screening for colorectal cancer, researchers say.  Using colonoscopy as a reference, a Labrador retriever sniffed out the disease in stool with 97% sensitivity and 99% specificity, Hideto Sonoda, MD, of Fukuoka Dental College Hospital in Fukuoka, Japan, and colleagues reported in Gut.

“This study represents the first step towards the development of an early detection system using odor materials from patients with CRC,” they wrote.

Dog olfactory detection tests have already been assessed in melanoma as well as bladder, lung, breast, and ovarian cancer. At the same time, several volatile organic compounds have been identified as candidate substances for early detection of cancer using gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy in the exhaled breath of patients with lung and breast cancer.

Okay, to that, I say, “Wowser!” and “Aren’t dogs amazing?” — and then I begin to wonder how was this canine talent discovered?  We’ve all had to deal with “snout in the crotch” greetings from stranger dogs — and sometimes even a little bum sniffing thrown in for good measure, too — but what switch was thrown in a doctor’s mind to make a correlation between a dog’s talented nose and rooting out the evil smells of cancer?  How wondrous!

The other thing that set my nose afire this week, was the idea of a familial “Fecal Transplant” to help those you love — or at least those with whom you share the same diet — and who also happen to have malfunctioning colons affected by the Clostridium Difficile bug or something similar:

It’s a distasteful cure for a problem that’s increasingly widespread: the Clostridium difficile bug, typically caught by patients in hospitals and nursing homes, can be hard to treat with antibiotics.

But Borody is one of a group of scientists who believe the answer is a fecal transplant.

Some jokily call it a “transpoosion.” Others have more sciencey names like “bacteriotherapy” or “stool infusion therapy.” But the process involves, frankly, replacing a person’s poo with someone else’s, and in the process, giving them back the “good” bugs they desperately need.

Again, “Mega Wowser!” is my reply to that ingenious and simple cure, and I also argue that, “Bend over and take my poop!” was never a more romantic notion.

In deeper research on the topic, I discovered that some people even do these fecal transplants in the comfort of their own homes.  I certainly wouldn’t recommend that home remedy path as a first resort, and I certainly hope the mainstream medical community will consider this “direct reinsertion remedy” in the doctor’s office as a viable way to help people suffering from chronic diarrhea and other internal ailments.

4 Comments

  1. As the song from that one episode of Scrubs goes, everything is down to poo. Good to know that so much information can be gleaned from what is otherwise considered a wasteful matter — which clearly isn’t that wasteful if it is making people better! 🙂

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