Horse diagnoses cancer
By Justine Thompson
22 March 2010 12:15
A Welsh rider is convinced she owes her life to her horse – who ‘diagnosed’ the cancer in her chest before she realised anything was wrong.
Julie Horton, from Monmouthsire, said she felt exhausted but had no other symptoms when her horse Lucy began head-butting her gently with her nose – always on the same spot.
“She started knocking me in the chest, which was something she had never done before. She kept going for about a month.”
When Lucy butted her really hard one day Julie thought she had broken a rib and went to her GP. When she was sent for an X-ray they found a tumour in the exact spot where the horse had been knocking her.
Julie, 38, said: “I had stage III cancer which is one step before the terminal phase. If Lucy hadn’t done that, it would’ve been too late.”
She was diagnosed with Hodgkinson’s disease which had, by then, caused cancer in her liver, spleen and chest wall – the place where Lucy had sensed it.
Julie was admitted to hospital next day and went on to beat the cancer into remission before returning to riding.
“The doctor said he’d heard of dogs detecting cancer a lot but never horses,” said Julie.