Animal sentinels sounding the alert
Veterinarians are accustomed to protecting animal health, but in some instances, animals end up protecting human health.
Several characteristics contribute to the ability of pets to serve as sentinels for human diseases. They are less mobile than humans and constantly exploring their environment by smelling and licking objects. Especially if they are small, they may be more sensitive than humans to a fixed dose of a toxin or infectious agent. And, generally, they have a shorter latency for most toxic events.