Diabetes Assist Dogs

Diabetes Assist Dogs

Can Do Canines

Diabetes Assist Dogs are trained to monitor smells in the air for a specific scent on the human breath that is related to rapidly dropping or low blood sugar levels. They are then trained to “alert” the person with diabetes, usually by touching them in a significant way such as pawing or nudging them. This alerts the person to check his or her blood sugar level. It also informs them that they should get something to eat to prevent hypoglycemia, or their blood sugars getting to a dangerous level. The canine partner can also be trained to retrieve juice or glucose tabs, get an emergency phone, or get help from another person in the house.

Diabetes Assist Dogs wear a backpack identifying them as an assistance dog. This backpack has pockets where medical information, a sugar source, and emergency contact information can be stored. This provides an extra safety net in case the person with diabetes is unable to get help in time. Anyone finding the person unconscious or acting abnormally would know it may be a medical emergency and know how to get help.

How can a dog detect low blood sugar? 

The dogs are evaluated throughout “puppy-hood” for a willingness to work and a sensitive nose. Once we have identified their interest in smells, they begin scent training. A person experiencing hypoglycemia produces a particular scent, found on the breath, due to chemical changes in their body. All people produce the same scent when they have low blood sugar. Our training methods are similar to those used to train drug sniffing or search and rescue dogs trained to find people.

Due to the generosity of supporters like you all of our assistance dogs are provided to clients free of charge.

Links

  • Learn how Diabetes Assist Dog Frieda started alerting Tom to his low blood sugar levels and prevented him from having seizures. His parent’s frequent calls to 911 are now a thing of the past.

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    1. mloverso@rcn.com (Post author)

      Thank You. Unfortunately I had a Doberman with Diabetes. Treatment is very similar to human Diabetes! Keep coming back!

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  4. LOVINMYPUP.COM (Post author)

    COMMENTS FROM LOVINMYPUP.COM: SERVICE DOGS ARE AMAZING ANIMALS. THEIR TRAINING IS RIGOROUS, BUT IT IS SO WORTH IT. THIS ARTICLE TALKS ABOUT USING THESE DOGS FOR PATIENTS WITH TYPE 1 (CHILDHOOD ONSET) DIABETES. THEY ALSO WORK WITH TYPE 2 DIABETES. TWO OF MY FRIENDS HAVE DOGS THAT ARE TRAINED SERVICE DOGS FOR DIABETES. INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, MY LATE HUSBAND WAS A VERY BRITTLE DIABETIC PATIENT. WITHOUT TRAINING, OUR RED DOBERMAN, ROXY, WOKE ME UP FROM A DEAD SLEEP AFTER SHE COULD NOT AWAKE MY HUSBAND BY NUDGING HIM. HIS SUGAR WAS DANGEROUSLY LOW. HE LATER TOLD ME THAT SHE WOULD OFTEN WAKE HIM UP FROM SLEEP WHILE I WAS AT WORK. AND HE WOULD REALIZE HIS SUGAR WAS DROPPING. THIS NIGHT, ROXY COULD NOT WAKE HIM, SO SHE WENT AROUND THE BED TO MY SID OF HE BED. SHE NUDGED MY SHOULDER AND WHEN I DIDN’T WAKE UP RIGHT AWAY, I RECEIVED A NUDGE AND A BIG WET LICK ACROSS MY CHEEK. I WOKE UP AND SAW SHE WAS CIRCLING NEAR MY HUSBAND. I REALIZED WHAT WAS GOING ON, AND I WAS ABLE TO GET HIS BLOOD SUGAR UP HIGH ENOUGH TO SAFELY WAIT FOR 911 TO GET TO THE HOUSE. THIS WAS WITH NO FORMAL TRAINING AT ALL!!! SHE WAS AN AMAZING DOG, WHO DIED OF A BROKEN HEART 6 MONTHS AFTER MY HUSBAND PASSED.

    I MYSELF USE A MOBILITY SERVICE DOG TO STEADY ME WHEN I WALK. I HAVE A TENDENCY TO FALL AND SHE KEEPS ME UPRIGHT. BELLA IS MY ANGEL!

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