It all started with Angus, an English Springer Spaniel trained to detect Clostridium difficile (C. diff) in the environment. His superb sniffing abilities makes him highly skilled at finding C. diff bacteria, the culprit behind one of the most common hospital-acquired infections. Angus has a 97% accuracy rate when it comes to detecting C. diff. The Canine Scent Detection Program at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) has since grown since its inception in 2016 to include Dodger and soon-to-be-certified Rudi.
These amazing working dogs are helping to eradicate C. diff in our hospitals and are transforming infection control practices in an innovative way.
As part of the program’s expansion, two puppies have been recruited as our latest trainees. One named Traveller and the other now named Finn, picked by the public in a naming contest in October 2019. Finn earned his name, which was inspired by Huckleberry Finn, from over 900 votes cast online.
The short list of names were chosen by VCH staff and our donors including the Rix Family Foundation and Peterson Group Foundation who have supported the Program.