Help Dogs to Train Dogs to Detect COVID-19


Just as Dr. Cynthia Otto at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center has has successfully trained dogs to detect ovarian cancer, she’s now in the process to teaching dogs to sniff for COVID-19. You can help!

From Dr. Otto:

The Penn Vet Working Dog Center is looking for individuals in the United States tested for COVID19 SAR-CoV2 by nasal swab or sputum test to assist in our research study to determine if dogs can detect COVID19.

We are seeking individuals over 18 years of age who either will be tested or have been tested and have received results (positive or negative) in the past 24 hours.
Eligible participants will be asked to complete a brief health survey, then eligible participants will be sent a cotton T-shirt to be worn one night while sleeping. The T-shirt will be packaged and shipped back to the Penn Vet Working Dog Center to be used in training and testing the dogs.

This study may help us identify a unique odor associated with COVID19 infection and guide novel screening methods.
Please complete the following survey to determine if you are eligible to participate
For questions please contact:

Dr. Cynthia Otto
Penn Vet Working Dog Center
3401 Grays Ferry Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19146

The Ovarian Cancer Symptom Awareness organization helped to support Dr. Otto and her efforts to first teach dogs to detect ovarian cancer, and is now collaborating with chemists and others to find a way to create a blood test. The idea is earlier detection, as currently ovarian cancer is often diagnosed too late to help.

As for dogs detecting COVID-19, I spoke with Dr. Otto on WGN radio and my national Steve Dale’s Pet World radio show on how she’s teaching the dogs and if they can learn to detect COVID-19, how this talent is expected to be used in the real world. If you’ve tested for COVID-19, please consider helping.