Two puppies, both English springer spaniels from Utah, have joined Vancouver General Hospital’s C. Difficile Canine Scent Detection Program, Vancouver Coastal Health announced Oct. 25, 2019. (VCH photo)

Two puppies, both English springer spaniels from Utah, have joined Vancouver General Hospital’s C. Difficile Canine Scent Detection Program, Vancouver Coastal Health announced Oct. 25, 2019. (VCH photo)

Two new pups join Vancouver hospital’s superbug sniffing squad

Clostridium difficile is a superbug that attacks people with a weakened immune system

The special squad of drug sniffing dogs at Vancouver General Hospital now has two new spunky recruits with well-trained snouts to help keep those with compromised immune systems safe from super bugs.

Two English springer spaniels, who have yet to be named, are the latest rookies to join the hospital’s C. Difficile Canine Scent Detection Program, Vancouver Coastal Health announced Friday.

Clostridium difficile, also known as C. difficile, is a superbug that attacks people whose immune systems are weakened by antibiotics. Since 2016, the canine scent detection teams have searched hundreds of areas at the hospital.

The two spaniels, who are only three months old, will spend the next several months being mentored by the program’s top dogs, Angus and Dodger.

“As their pack grows in numbers, these new pups will learn how to prevent the spread and infection of C. difficile in health care facilities and we are grateful for this innovative approach to protecting the public,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a news release.

The health authority is now looking for help from the public to find more “up to snuff” names for the pair of pups, which has been narrowed down to four options:

  • Olaf: Short for olfactory sense, which is what dogs use to help smell
  • Clouseau: Short for Inspector Clouseau who was a detective and looked for clues
  • Finn: After Huck Finn was a curious explorer
  • Magnum: Short for Magnum PI the investigator

Anyone can vote for their favourite names by visiting vghfoundation.ca/vote until Nov. 3. The names with the most votes will be announced later in the month.


@ashwadhwani
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