Dog Detected Owner's Cancer Before Medical Scans Found It

04/01/2014 02:38 pm ET | Updated Apr 02, 2014

It's been said that dogs are able to read our body language. They know when we're ready to take them for a walk or when we're getting ready to feed them.

In January, BBC Earth uploaded the above video which takes us behind the scenes of the loving relationship between Maureen Burns and her dog, Max.

When her then-9-year-old collie cross, who was normally so full of life, began acting strangely, Burns was worried that he was dying.

"The odd signs were when he would come up and touch my breast with his nose, and back off so desperately unhappy with such a sad look in his eyes," Burns said in the video.

Burns had a lump in her breast, but her last mammogram had been clear so she didn't think anything of it. That is, until she linked the lump to Max's behavior, and decided to get a scan and a mammogram, both of which came back negative again. Eventually, after undergoing a surgical biopsy, cancer was detected in Burns' breast.

According to the BBC, many dogs can smell the chemicals given off by cancerous tumors.

In 2003, the InSitu Foundation performed a study and found the canines can sniff out lung and breast cancer by smelling a patient's breath, the New York Daily News reported.

According to the InSitu Foundation, dogs accuracy levels for the early detection of lung and breast cancer has been found to be 88 percent specific and 99 percent sensitive.

When Burns left the hospital after having the lump removed, she says she immediately noticed a change in Max's behavior.

"He put his nose across my breast to check where the operation had been and was wagging his tail and his eyes were happy," Burns said in the video. "I love Max and I owe him so much."

h/t GodVine

Also on HuffPost:

Animals Who Are Deep In Thought

More:

Smart Dogs

CONVERSATIONS