A dog that has been trained to sniff out nuts is keeping its owner, who suffers from an allergy to walnuts, peanuts and cashews, safe.
Yasmine Tornblad has a very extreme allergy to the nuts, with the smell alone sufficient to cause anaphylactic shock. She has been in hospital eight times in 15 years due to her affliction, but her new dog Nano should help to keep the doors of A&E at bay.
The four-year-old poodle is the first dog in Europe to be able sniff out nut odours and is able to detect them in both food and the surrounding environment. He was trained by the Buckinghamshire charity Medical Detection Dogs, which has previously paired more than 30 people with dogs that can help with their conditions, including diabetes.
Ms Tornbald, who lives in Malvern, Worcestshire, has praised Nano for the impact he has had on her life and she now takes him everywhere with her, whether to the office, on business trips and even flying around the world.
“It has given me a bit of independence back so I’m not so worried about eating at friend’s houses or going on business trips anymore,” she said.
“Normally when I stay at a hotel I start by cleaning out the room to be sure there is no contamination - now I have Nano to double-check. I can’t imagine life without him now.”
The mutt’s training only took a year and Mr Tornbald’s success story has inspired others to get in touch with Medical Detection Dogs to help them out with similar problems.
"The difference it can make to a client who is suffering from a condition like this is very exciting," said Simone Brainch, who works at the charity.
Medical Detection Dogs have been very successful at training dogs to sniff out medical conditions, with some pooches taught to sniff out cancer.
Written by: Hannah