Dog Sniffs Out Owner's Skin Cancer Just Months After Being Rescued from Shelter

The lump could have worsened had it not been caught early.

A one-eyed dog saved her owner’s life by sniffing out a cancerous lump, just months after she was rescued.

Victoria, a Treeing Walker Coonhound, sniffed around a reddish lump near the nostril of owner Lauren Gauthier, of Buffalo, N.Y., until she went to the doctor to examine further.

A skin biopsy came back to show the blemish was basal cell carcinoma.

"She’d been literally putting her nose onto my nose where the cancer was," Gauthier told "My dog’s persistence in smelling that area made me wonder if there was something suspicious about it."

Gauthier explained she enjoyed tanning as a teen, and would use a tanning bed at least three times a week.

"I think that that’s probably most likely where I developed this," she explained. 

Recently, she noticed a small lump on her face, but dismissed it as a scratch. Victoria, however, seemed to notice instinctively that something was wrong.

"She started smelling a specific are of my nose to the extent that she would actually touch her nose to mine where the cancer is and lean back and look at me and smell it again and look at me," Gauthier explained. "It was very odd and she kept doing it repeatedly and I thought that that was a little bit unusual for her to do."

Gauthier explained that she and her husband, Benjamin, adopted Victoria just eight months before from Magic’s Mission Beagle and Hound Rescue.

The pup came to them already having an eye injury they suspected was the result of careless hunting.

Listening to the pup, she had the spot diagnosed and underwent surgery to remove the cancer shortly after.

While her nostril is now slightly scarred, and she didn’t have feeling in her nose for several months, she said she is glad her pup caught the cancer early on.

“She's just our family dog, she’s not a detection dog of any sort,” Gauthier said. “There’s the old term or 'who rescued who' and I think it’s especially true in Victoria’s case."