Saturday, July 11, 2009

Info on Diabetic Service Dogs

Yes I got this note from someone who trains dog for Helping Paws. She is volunteer and not staff and neither she nor I am speaking on behalf of Helping Paws. Nor has Helping Paws reviewed the content for accuracy.

She emailed me this ---

There are such things as diabetic service dogs, in other words dogs that can detect for their person when their blood sugar is out of whack. I’m acquaintances with a person that purchased (had to fundraise a huge amount of money to receive the dog) a diabetic alert dog from an organization in South Dakota, she recently explained to me that it is believed that 30% of dogs have the capability of detecting, but it is awareness of people surrounding the dog to understand what they are doing when they alert. The organization in South Dakota determines which dogs have the ability to “read” the blood sugars and teaches the dogs to “alert” their person when blood sugars are not in proper range. I’m sure you could teach Emma to do a specific cue when she is detecting, so it is easier for her to tell you and easier for you to pick up on the cue (just a thought). For the person I know, her service dog has allowed her to keep working because she has always struggled with incredible highs and lows in sugar levels with very little warning and dr’s over the years haven’t been able to control it with diet/exercise/insulin etc. The last time I talked with her (a few weeks ago) she told me that her dog will also “alert” when the dog runs into someone else that has endocrine problems (isn’t diabetes part of the endocrine system?) If I remember correctly her dog will nudge her person when blood sugars are off and has been know to nudge other people. If nudging doesn’t get the response she wants from her person she will speak.

Isnt't that interesting?

Emma doesn't speak but i now know her unique way of letting me know something is wrong. Sat my blood sugar was so low she probably was life saving. Alerting me before I passed out due to low blood sugar.

After a week today my sugars were a bit high but not bad. We will work with insulin level and food intake to see what it takes to get them normal.

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