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Cancer patient’s health improves after a surprise visit from his Collie

Snr Santos greets dog Agadir at hospital dog-wow
© Hospital Memorial São José – Facebook

They may be our best friends, but dogs look likely to possess special powers that stretch beyond simply making our days brighter and happier. Read on to find out more.

By Nick Whittle , 27 Sep 2019

Doctors at the Hospital Memorial São José in Brazil were left speechless when faced with the improvements one patient underwent after just one visit from his beloved pet dog.

Flavio Santos had been at the hospital for several weeks receiving treatment for a cancer. To be expected, his health deteriorated and his mood darkened.

Of his life at home that he was forced to leave behind, there was much he missed. Not least of all, the thought of his beloved Collie Agadir, being looked after by friends, was what upset him the most.

Agadir and Snr Santos were close, and both missed the other in equal measure. The practitioners at the hospital knew the importance of trying to keep their patients’ spirits up. They knew cancer was not just a physical ailment; it affected and was affected by mental wellbeing too.


As a goodwill gesture, nurses from the hospital decided to bring Agadir to the hospital.

The reunion was a great success. Clearly overwhelmed at the opportunity to hold his dog again Santos’ mood picked up. The two spent several hours together, reviving their friendship and enjoying lots of cuddles.

After Agadir was taken away, doctors noticed a marked improvement in Santos’s mental state. He was happier, brighter and more upbeat. But incredibly, so too did they see improvements in his blood pressure, heart rate and even his appetite.

I was surprised,” Dr. Rodrigo Tancredi told The Animal Rescue Site. “He was conscious, oriented and talking.

We visibly noticed his improvement the other day. The improvement occurred in a gradual way and remains.”

Dr Tancredi was so impressed by his patient’s recovery that he even hinted at Santos' being discharged in due course. It is not clear whether Santos is in remission, but at the very least the story highlights the great benefits arising from our contact with dogs.