Monthly Archives: November 2014

Breathalyzers for Pets?

Researchers have developed a method for detecting hundreds of chemical compounds in an animal’s breath. The ramifications of this procedure is remarkable. Many health parameters of living animals that could measure a state of wellness in a very easy manner is becoming possible. Blood analysis is currently the method of choice now as blood contains every substance circulating in the body. But obtaining it in some animals is very difficult. Right now they are analyzing whale and dolphin breath, but they have already identified more than 1800 compounds in human breath. Currently, tests are being developed to detect cancer, diabetes and other diseases. During the past several years, the researchers have been identifying DNA, microbes, metabolites and hormones in whale breath (blow). So far, they have learned a lot about diet, activity levels, environmental changes, illnesses and stress. Granted most of the tests have been performed on whales and dolphins, but they are confident the techniques will translate nicely to other animals and eventually humans. They have expectations that an animal’s and human’s health will be able to be evaluated by just analyzing their breath without taking any blood samples.