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Latest health and behavior news and advice from the veterinarians at Tufts University.

Features April 2018 Issue

A Whiff of Illness

You can learn a lot about your dog’s health by sniffing her.

A Whiff of Illness

On the scent of the trail to what ails your dog. You can literally smell 8 types of sickness on your pet — if you know what to sniff for.

When it comes to the sense of smell, dogs leave us in the dust. They have nearly 20 times more primary smell receptor cells in their noses than people do. They can detect scents at concentrations at least 100 times less than humans can. In some instances, they can detect scents at concentrations a million times less than we can. And if you ironed out the aroma-detecting membranes covering the scrolled-up, coral like bones in a dog’s nose, their surface would be the size of a pocket handkerchief, while ours would be roughly the size of a thumbnail.

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