Source: Scoop (Extract)
Posted: March 2, 2023

Royal Canin is proudly donating premium nutrition to fuel Aotearoa New Zealand’s first ever ovarian cancer detection dog Hunter.

K9 Medical Detection New Zealand is a dedicated team working to improve the health of all New Zealanders by using specially trained dogs in controlled clinical environments to assist in the detection of cancer and other diseases.

Hunter is a genetically selected German Shepherd pup who has been designated as New Zealand’s first ovarian detection dog. He will be trained to sniff out ovarian cancer and might save the lives of Kiwi women in the process.

While February marks Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, the deadly disease affects women in Aotearoa all year round. According to key advocacy group Ovarian Cancer New Zealand, the disease is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in New Zealand. The country’s survival rates are almost 5 percent worse than Australia, with 8 in 10 women with ovarian cancer being misdiagnosed.

K9 Medical Detection NZ dogs have already been trained in successful clinical trials to detect prostate cancer and bowel cancer, providing a non-invasive and easy option to detect these cancers.

Royal Canin Australia and New Zealand Acting General Manager Kelly Quirke said it was a privilege to provide Hunter with tailored science-led nutrition to support his important role in the community.

“Since 1968, we have studied the unique health needs of cats and dogs in the minutest of detail. Over that time, we have learnt that the smallest nutritional difference can make a huge difference to a pet’s life and health. We are delighted to partner with K9 Medical Detection New Zealand and give Hunter the best possible nutrition to support his important work.”

K9 Medical Detection New Zealand Founder and Chief Executive Pauline Blomfield said Royal Canin was making an important contribution to the organisation’s work, seeking to make a positive change to the health of New Zealand women.

“We’re excited to be on the frontier of new methods of detecting ovarian cancer in New Zealand, helping to save the lives of Kiwi women. We’re grateful for the high-quality nutrition solutions that Royal Canin is providing that will help keep our dogs like Hunter healthy and well, which will in turn help detect illness in our mothers, daughters, sisters, and grandmothers here.”