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tv   Vital Signs with Dr. Sanjay Gupta  CNN  April 30, 2016 11:30am-12:01pm PDT

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dinner, and are you planning to take him on at all or nervous at all about making fun of him? >> no. there is no time to sick the irs on me, man, we are past tax day, mr. president, and you don't think that he is watching this, right, guys? >> and cnn's coverage of the white house correspondents' dinner is next and that is red carpet music. john berman going to be on the carpet. thank you for joining me. thanks for having me. "vital signs" with dr. sanjay gupta begins right now. ♪ >> if you could do something for just 15 minutes to help redeuce stress and ill prove the mood, wouldn't you be up for it? i know i would, and especially since it is easy, and simply spend time with an animal n. is
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"vital signs" and i'm dr. sanjay gupta. over to the years the benefits off animal assistance therapy have been documented, everything from lowering anxiety to reducing heart disease. a study in japan says that connection might be hormonal. when we lock eyes with the dog, it is going to release oxytoe syn which is a power neurotransmitter linked with the mood and the same hormone linked to mothers and infants, and so it is no surprise that dogs in particular are so popular in hospitals all over the world. >> reporter: it is early morning in atlanta, georgia. lisa kinsle is getting ready for work, and so is casper. a little breakfast a little grooming, and then it is time to put on his work uniform. he does this rye teen four times a week as a full-time employee as children's health care of atlanta. he has his own badge, and he is even on call.
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>> he is in work mode right now. when casper has the vest on, and he knows that he is working, he is this very calm demeanor. >> one of the things when the vest is on, he is different. >> he knows that he has a job to do, and he does it really well. >> reporter: casper and lisa arrive at the hospital just after 7:30 in the morning. at the hospital entrance, casper takes the lead. first time that you sort of made rounds if you will with casper, and what is that like? walking around with kcasper, an what is the reaction from the patients or the staff or anything? >> well, i probably cried everyday, because from my job, i was not on the front lines previously. come on, good boy. and all of the sudden, i have casper, and i'm going into the patient room and meeting the families. hi. i'm lisa, and this is casper. >> hi, casper. >> and their reak shction and h
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touched they were, and how thankful they were. so all of the sudden, i was on the front lines. feeling like i was a part of, and we are a part of the whole clinical team. >> hey, buddy. >> dr. dan salinas is the chief medical director of the children's hospital in atlanta. and lisa pitched a idea for a program called canines for kids. >> we saw the need that children, and families were having with intermittent pet therapy program, but we saw that the children were asked and the families were asking for more contact with the dogs, and they didn't want to wait a week to have to see the dog again. >> reporter: the program called canine assistance trains the dogs for 12 to 15 months, and casper was the first four-legged full timer on staff here. lisa met him when he was 18 months old. >> when i first met casper, he
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and i had the connection, and we just knew that we were meant to be together. so we started working. >> when you describe casper, he has got, and i notice the eyes and a very, and about the sympathetic and the empathetic and all of the emotion in the face. what did you notice? what was it about him? >> i noticed that he is like a big sponge. he takes it all in. and i think that is what makes him work so well with the patients. and he knows that the child is maybe anxious, maybe he is in pain. and when we have a visit like that and we leave the room, it takes him a few minutes to decompre decompress. >> how do you know that he is decompressing, and what is he doing? >> he will literally shutdown, and stand there, and look at me, and go, it is like, mom, i need a moment. and it is that nonverbal look that i can tell.
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he really needs a break. >> this affects him, this job. >> oh, absolute ly. absolutely. >> reporter: walking around the hospital with casper, i can tell that he is at home here. >> does kcasper know where he i going. >> oh, yes, most definitely. >> it looks like he is leading. >> i keep saying that he does not need me much anymore. >> when we come across nicky's room, casper is all business. there is a little boy in here recovering from surgery who can't wait to visit his four-legged friend. patiently, casper is going to wait outside while lisa lays across a gown over nicky's bed to protect him from germs. >> okay. good boy. >> how are you feeling today, nicolas? >> all right. >> anything hurt or anything? >> no. >> good. >> you look like you feel better today, do you? yeah? i don't think that you were feeling too good yesterday, but you are looking like you feel
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better yesterday. you are looking happier today. i think it is kcasper who does that personally. >> he just had a permanent feeding tube inserted into the tummy yesterday, and he has problems to gain wait and he has severe sill yak disease and he has not put on any weight. >> and this is his mother, and she has seen the impact firsthand of her son. >> he had no smiles or voice, and when casper came in, and he sat there and smiled and pet him and looked like no pain in the world. >> and the smile tells the story. >> yeah, absolutely. >> reporter: while casper is the first full-time service dog here, there are 11 dogs on staff here at the children's hospital in atlanta. the hospital says it is the full time animal therapy program in the united states. >> reporter: what was the biggest concern? what was the biggest hurdle in
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terms of getting a consistent program like this? >> well, i think that the the biggest hurdle is that it is a new concept. we started this. it had not been done elsewhere. we had to convince some people that it was going to be okay, because we had already had the therapy dogs present in the facilities for years and years and years. >> reporter: casper and the other therapy dog worked with all of the teams, pain management, physical therapy, pre and post surgery and even mris and if a little patient is scared of the mri ma sheep, casper is going to hop up there and show them it is okay. after a long day of successful visits, it is time for casper to head home. like lisa says, when the vest comes off, he is a normal dog again, playing in the grass, eating dog biscuits. tomorrow, he'll be ready to do it all over again, and to share some of the casper magic with anyone who needs him. >> it is a tough question in some ways to ask, but how do you
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know when not just on any given day but overall casper is not ready to do this work anymore. is there a time? >> hopefully i will know that day comes when he says, i'm done. but so far, i don't see any signs of him giving this up. as a matter of fact, there are nights when we walk into, out of the lobby to go back outside and he does want to get in the car or go home. so i think that he is going to continue to do this as long as he possibly can. >> there are so many ways that animals can help the health, and recovery is one thing, but what about the diagnosis? it turns tout power noses of dogs may be able to helpp us there, too.
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the benefits of being around animals are obvious, but it is not the only way that the four-legged friends are helping us. elephants may help in the the crucial fight against cancer in humans even though ta have 100 times as many cells as we do, elephants rarely get kacancer. studies show that the mortality rate for these animals due to cancer is less than 5% compared to 25% of humans, and scientists believe it is due to a special protein in the elephants cells. meantime, dogs are helping us to detect cancer. we traveled to the uk to meet with these dogs and the bio-sensing dogs.
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>> dr. claire is head of the program where she has claimed for years she can train dogs to smell cancer cells and now her dogs are going to be taking part of one of the lajest clinical trials in canine kacancer detection. she says that she is a believer, because her own dog daisy caught her cancer six years ago. >> claire, you say that your dog caught your cancer? >> yes, i was working on the cancer detection project, and working with the dog, and she started to behave slightly different among me and staring at me, and looking into the chest. it led me to a lump that was checked out by a gp and then a specialist, and i had a diagnosis of a very early cancer. i was told that had my attention not drawn to it by daisy, my prognosis would have been very poor. >> dr. guest started the medical
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detection dogs in 2008. medical assistance dogs paired with diabetics to sniff out sugar levels that change. why don't we have dogs that detect cancer? >> well, we have several that do, but it is not proved accurate. the treatments are improving all of the time, but sadly, the diagnosis is not. >> reporter: rob harris is training the dogs to smell prostate cancer. >> this is lucy, a labrador cross irish spaniel. >> they take eight urine samples from patients and only one has cancer, and it is the dog's job to sniff it out. >> to think that the dog may sniff the cancer in that small sample is amazing. >> so four is the one he should
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sniff out. >> and yes, a hungarian breed. >> would you like to change it to the other side? >> yes, catching it number one is the most difficult because she won't have anything on this round, so it is a real test for midas. scientists suspect that volatile chemicals evaporate, and send off an odor, and we can't smell them, because we have a measly 5 million sensors in the nose, and dogs have over 3 million in their noses. >> so what she can detect, she has the nose at the end of the face, but she has also got an organism in the back of the throat that is screaming volatile chemicals as well.
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>> reporter: any dogs like kiwi, a labrador are more easily trained. our study showed that dogs detect cancer with 90% accuracy which is higher than most traditional diagnostic tests. we have known for years that they could sniff cancer, but is this the first time that it could be used in the hospital? >> yes, it is going to be used by the hospital, but it does not mean that they will be in the hospital, but they will be in the training center like this, and the samples will be transported to the center where the dogs give the answer and the results is sent back, and yes, moving forward to the time when they are going to be used in the diagnostic process and not going into the hospital cells to sniff around the patients. >> in three years, we will know the results of this large study using 3,000 urine samples from health patients in england. >> reporter: to you believe that dogs like midas can save lives? >> yes. i believe that she might have a
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fluffy coata and long wagging tail, but she is a very, very sophisticated skill. >> reporter: from dogs to lla s llamas, and you is probably never seen a therapy animal quite like this before. dad, you can just drop me off right here.
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welcome to portland, oregon n the pacific northwest of the united states. t the city is known for having a quirky personality, but even the people of portland are surprised to see this. your eyes do not deceive you, that is a llama and an alpaca walking through the downtown. >> everybody needs a little bit of the happiness and joy in unexpected places. >> reporter: photos, hugs, and a lot of laughter, and the is what
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roho and napoleon can do and what laurie gregory and her daughter shannon have been sharing with the portland area for eight years now and counting. >> hey, llamas! hey, alpacas. hi, napoleon. >> we never dreamed that we would be doing work with llamas and alpacas and we moved to vancouver from oregon 2 1/2 years ago and we got tired of mowing the lawn and so we went to the fair to look for animals that would keep it eaten down, and so we were intrigued with the llamas. >> reporter: shannon and lori went hama shopping, and they found the red llama, rojo, spanish for red, their first law pa. >> that one just stuck out the most, and rojo, was 4 months at a imtoo, and she was following the owner around while she was
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doing the chores. >> that is 13 years ago, and over that time, while he certainly grew, rojo is 400 pounds, he is very lovable. >> and he loves to be around all of the environments and we are sop thatkful to have him around, because everybody falls in love with him. >> and so when somebody suggested to get him certified to be a therapy animal, it was an easy decision. >> it was extensive process to get him certified eight years ago, and we have done over 1,000 visits since then, and added four llamas and alpacas, and we go out almost every day of the week now. >> they started mountain peeks therapy, llamas and alpacas. today, they are headed to visit a nursing home with rojo the llama, and napoleon the alpaca.
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the residents here at emerson house suffer from severe dementia, but the moment that the unique group steps off of the el vaer or the, there are smiles all across the room. >> it is neat to be taking a giant 400-pound animal into everywhere. a lot of time, you will get a lot of shock at first, and they don't understand why a llama who is dressed up is in their home. and then you look at this intrigue. so it is a shock, and then they are like, i want to feel it, i want to feel how soft he is, and he is looking cool. when they put a carrot if their lips and he gives them a kiss, it is instant pure joy. >> reporter: these carrot kisses are pop ular, because the llama don't have upper teeth, just bottom teeth, and they don't bite. >> it happens 100 times in every visit, and it is the same, just
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seeing the people so giddy is the joy that fuels me and exciting. >> would you like to give it a carrot. >> the mayo clinic says it can relieve pain and fatigue, and smiling and laughter are also good for your health and longevity, and the simple act of smiling is said to activate the happy centers in your brain, and forced smile can do it, but with rojo and napoleon around, nobody is forcing a smile here. it is pure joy. >> and all of the residents have dementia, and they cannot communicate verbally, but once they see the animals, it is different. touching the animals and giving them kisses, i had residents who don't speak english singing in the native tongue to the animals and touch iing them. >> for me, it is life changing.
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when we first not certified for therapy with rojo, it going to be fun to share our llama with the special people, and then the first visit we did, sannon was me and see had him on the lead, and taking him into the rehab facility, and i was back on the backside with all of the nurses and people in the facility, and as she would take him along the bedsides i would hear them getting so excited and saying, wow, harold has not spoken in a month, and i heard him say that he is cute or look at helen trying to sit up, and she has not moved for a long time, and it is like ever every room we were going into, it is like seeing the miracles happen. >> so soft. >> reporter: rojo is a little bit of a celebrity around here, and shannon has written a children's book about him. and for this mother/daughter team, it is another way to share rojo with others who need him or just need a smile. >> of course. >> you made my day. >> oh, good. >> once we started to take them
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out, it is like, i have to do this. i can't not do this. you know. so, yeah, it is a purpose and a life calling. and so, i'll be doing it until i can't anymore, and then shannon will bring him to visit me. she better. [ laughter ] >> those smiles are infectious don't you think. it is incredible the difference of a visit from rojo or napoleon or casper the therapy dog, and the animals have a magical power about them, and if you have a pet at home, give them an extra treat today, because all they are doing for your health, they have earned it. for "vital signs" i'm dr. sanjay for "vital signs" i'm dr. sanjay gupta. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
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you are in the cfn newsroom. i'm pamela brown in the for poppy harlow on this saturday. thanks for coming along with us. on the show, first up, ted cruz is laying the groundwork for what could be the last stand against donald trump. at any moment we expect him to take the stage at the gop convention in california, the state that votes last, but it has the biggest prize, 172 delegates. they are critical, because trump is so close to winning the nomination outright. he is now just 235 delegates shy of the magic number, and cruz and the new running mate carly

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