Dog sniffs out owner's throat cancer after he thought it was just a cold

Mr Sweeney decided to go to his local GP surgery after Dug's out of the ordinary behaviour. Credit: Media Wales

A dog owner says his pet "just wouldn't stop" sniffing around his mouth for weeks but it later saved his life.

Tom Sweeney began to notice a change in his voice after suffering from a bad cold and a sore throat around Christmas time last year.

However, the 55-year-old from Blaengwynfi in Neath Port Talbot, did not realise what was actually happening to him until his dog, Dug, sussed it out.

After his pet's out of the ordinary behaviour, Mr Sweeney decided to go to his local GP surgery.

He was urgently referred for a biopsy at Morriston Hospital in Swansea. Mr Sweeney said the biopsy results confirmed he had throat cancer.

  • "He must have known something wasn’t right"

Thanking his five-year-old lurcher bull mastiff cross, Mr Sweeney said: "If it wasn’t for Dug then I may not have gone on to make an appointment at that time.

"He was sniffing my mouth a lot over the course of two months – he does it with other family members too – but he just wouldn’t stop with me.

"He must have known something wasn’t right.”

In August Mr Sweeney is taking on a 50-mile bike ride to raise money for staff at the centre which helped him through treatment. Credit: Media Wales

Within six weeks of going to the doctor’s surgery, Mr Sweeney was receiving radiotherapy treatment at the South West Wales Cancer Centre at Singleton Hospital.

His treatment was successful and has now finished, but he returns every two months for check-ups.

“The staff at the South West Wales Cancer Centre are all angels - they are truly incredible humans,” he added.

“Nothing is too big or small. They go out of their way to help you with anything you need.

"They are always there for you with a smile on their face and you feel you are their only concern.”

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