How Do Dogs Sense Human Emotions?
Jen deHaan does a great job bringing some recent studies. Here are three stories from my 20 years of experience with dogs about them detecting human emotions. Freakout has a smell My dogs loved my mom and would exuberantly greet her whenever she was at my home. (I remember reading a study that dogs could detect genetic similarity in humans - I'm guessing they knew she was a pack member). I've written elsewhere that my mother had a condition that made it difficult for her to moderate her emotions. So one afternoon she and I were out to lunch and she became enraged at the waitress. Even after we left the restaurant, she continued to rage uncontrollably in my car and didn't calm down until we were at my house. Mom (now quiet) was standing in my living room facing the front window and I went to the back door to let my dogs in. My german shepherd, China, saw her and bounced over to greet her. When the dog was about three feet from my mother's back, China stopped in her tracks like she had hit a wall, backed up and retreated to my bedroom (where she hid during thunderstorms). One of my brothers said he could "smell" when mom was going to go off, and I believe China was reacting the cloud of pheromones he described. My dog used my "emotional" gestures to self-medicate for anxiety Thunderstorms are not common in Southern California, but if you live next to Camp Pendleton, explosions can be a weekly event. While my malamute was blasé about the booming, Buni-Raku - a Tibetan Mastiff, would have full scale panic attacks. In a search to comfort her I spoke with a dog trainer who suggested we humans elaborately yawn when the bombing would start. It worked like a charm. The malamute would join us - big, long, jaw stretches as he looked purposefully at the cowering mastiff. It worked Continue reading >>
We Finally Know How Dogs Sniff Out Diabetes
For years, assistance dogs have been used to detect low blood sugar levels in their diabetic owners and warn of an impending hypoglycemia attack. Scientists have finally figured out how dogs are able to accomplish this feat—an insight that could lead to new medical sensors. Dogs don’t so much see the world as they do smell it. Our canine companions can detect the tiniest odor concentrations—around one part per trillion. For us, that would be like detecting a teaspoon of sugar in two Olympic sized swimming pools. This allows them to work as medical detection dogs, where they sniff out various forms of cancer and diabetes. In the case of diabetes, specially trained dogs can tell when their owner’s blood sugar level is low—a sign of a possible hypoglycemia attack. For people with type 1 diabetes, low blood sugar can cause problems like shakiness, disorientation, and fatigue. Failure to receive a sugar boost can lead to a seizure and even unconsciousness. For some, these episodes occur suddenly and with little warning. When a diabetes detection dog senses that their owner is in trouble, they notify them by performing a predetermined task, such as barking, laying down, or putting their paw on their shoulder. But how do these dogs know? What is it, exactly, that they’re sensing or smelling? This question has mystified scientists for years, but a new study by researchers from the Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science and the University of Cambridge has finally provided the answer. It’s isoprene. That’s what these dogs are smelling—a common natural chemical found in human breath. The scientists recruited eight women with type 1 diabetes, and under controlled conditions, lowered their blood sugar levels. Using mass spectrometry, they looked for spec Continue reading >>
We Train Diabetes Assist Dogs To Help People With Type I Diabetes.
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. LEARN MORE AND APPLY FOR A DIABETES ASSIST DOG Continue reading >>
Diabetes Mellitus - Insulin Treatment In Dogs
By Ernest Ward, DVM & Robin Downing, DVM, DAAPM, DACVSMR, CVPP Emergency Situations, Medical Conditions This handout provides detailed information on insulin administration. For more information about diabetes mellitus, see the fact sheets "Diabetes Mellitus - General Information", and "Diabetes Mellitus - Principles of Treatment". What is diabetes mellitus? In dogs, diabetes mellitus is caused by the failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar. This is Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (also called Type 1 Diabetes). This type of diabetes usually results from destruction of most or all of the beta-cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. As the name implies, dogs with this type of diabetes require insulin injections to stabilize blood sugar levels. What do I need to know about insulin treatment for diabetes mellitus? In diabetic dogs, the main treatment for regulating blood glucose is giving insulin by injection. Dogs with diabetes mellitus typically require two daily insulin injections as well as a dietary change. Although the dog can go a day or so without insulin and not have a crisis, this should not be a regular occurrence; treatment should be looked upon as part of the dog's daily routine. This means that you, as the dog's owner, must make both a financial commitment and a personal commitment to treat your dog. If are out of town or go on vacation, your dog must receive proper treatment in your absence. Initially, your dog may be hospitalized for a few days to deal with any immediate crisis and to begin the insulin regulation process. For instance, if your dog is so sick that he has quit eating and drinking for several days, he may be experiencing “diabetic ketoacidosis,” which may require a several days of intensive care. On Continue reading >>
- Diabetes in Dogs (Diabetes Mellitus)
- Diabetes Insipidus And Diabetes Mellitus In Dogs: Symptoms & Treatments
- Relative effectiveness of insulin pump treatment over multiple daily injections and structured education during flexible intensive insulin treatment for type 1 diabetes: cluster randomised trial (REPOSE)
Why Do Dogs Get Diabetes?
Once your dog gets diabetes, he will most likely need insulin for the rest of his life. So its really important to do everything you can to prevent your dog from becoming diabetic. There are many things that can contribute to the risk of your dog getting diabetes … but the good news is, there are also lots of things you can do to help prevent it and minimize the risk. So we called on an expert to tell us how to do that. At Raw Roundup 2017, Dr Jean Hofve gave a talk on canine diabetes and its connection to diet and environmental factors and the best ways to prevent it. The pancreas produces the hormones that control glucose … primarily insulin and glucagon. The pancreas is mostly made up of tissue that secretes digestive enzymes … but about 5% of the pancreas is made up of beta cells that produce insulin.The bodys cells need glucose for energy its their primary fuel. But glucose cant get into those cells without the help of insulin. Dr Hofve explains insulin as the key to a lock … the cells need the key (insulin) to let the glucose in. When glucose cant get into the cells without insulin, it builds up in the blood. This causes hyperglycemia, meaning too much sugar in the blood (hyper = too much, glyc = sugar and emia = in the blood) Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas fails to produce insulin properly. This means glucose cant get into the bodys cells to be used for energy. Its quite dangerous, and it usually requires lifelong treatment with insulin shots. So you can see that preventing diabetes in dogs is really, really important. Dr Hofve has a lot of really good advice on how to do that. But first, how do you recognize the signs that your dog might have diabetes? Autoimmunity means the body attacks its own tissue and destroys it. If the beta cells that make i Continue reading >>
Hill's® Science Diet® Youthful Vitality Adult 7+ Small & Toy Breed Chicken & Rice Recipe Dog Food
Diabetes mellitus is a condition that develops when your dog cannot use sugar (glucose) effectively and control the sugar level in the blood. Insulin, which is made in the pancreas, is essential for regulating the use and storage of blood glucose. Insufficient insulin production is potentially life threatening. Just like in humans, diabetes in dogs is serious, but manageable. There are two types of diabetes, and although there is no cure, dogs with either type can be successfully managed through nutrition, exercise, and if necessary, regular insulin medication. With the right food and advice from your veterinarian, your diabetic dog can still enjoy a happy, active life. What causes diabetes? A reduction in insulin production is usually caused by damage to the pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for producing the proper amount of insulin to control sugar levels. In some dogs hormonal changes or medications can reduce the effect of insulin. If your dog's pancreas is damaged, long-term and potentially life-threatening symptoms could occur and must be managed. Factors that increase the chance of your dog developing diabetes include: Body condition: Overweight or obese dogs are more likely to develop diabetes. Age: Dogs can develop diabetes at any age, but the peak onset is around 8 years. Gender: Females are twice as likely to develop diabetes. Breed: Some breeds of dogs, such as Samoyeds, miniature schnauzers, miniature poodles and bichon frise are more predisposed to diabetes than others. Other factors could include poor nutrition, hormonal abnormalities and stress. Does my dog have diabetes? The signs of diabetes are difficult to recognize because they are similar to those of other disorders like kidney disease. Your veterinarian may also need to perform tests to ensur Continue reading >>
How Your Dog Can Help You Manage Your Diabetes
There are many benefits to owning a pet. When it comes to your health, pets can provide comfort, companionship, and a reason to get out of the house. Dogs are good for you whether you need a furry friend or not. Sometimes, if you have a chronic condition like diabetes, your pup could actually help improve your symptoms — or even save your life. How does diabetes impact your health? Diabetes develops either when the pancreas stops producing insulin (type 1) or the body becomes resistant to the insulin the pancreas produces (type 2). If your diabetes gets out of control, you could experience nerve damage and hearing loss. Some people also suffer from gangrene, foot ulcers, and even kidney damage and disease. There is no cure — so how do you manage it? Learning how to managing your diabetes can require a lot of time and very specific lifestyle changes. People with type 2 diabetes especially must learn to alter their diets, take their medications and test their blood sugar properly, and incorporate more physical activity into their routines to stay healthy. It turns out your dog might be able to help with a few of these changes. They give you a reason to exercise Dogs need walking. Depending on the breed, they also might love to run around and play. It’s difficult to own an exercise-dependent dog without getting physically active yourself just by default. Exercise isn’t just good for your body — it’s also good for your brain. Staying physically active can help to improve your mental health whenever diabetes gets you down. Your dog can ease your loneliness Whether you’re dealing with a recent diagnosis or you’re struggling to manage your condition, diabetes sometimes brings with it feelings of loneliness and depression. A canine can’t cure this directly — Continue reading >>
How Dogs Can Sniff Out Diabetes And Cancer
By Liz Langley PUBLISHED March 19, 2016 The Force is strong in Jedi. The black Labrador retriever recently detected a drop in blood sugar in 7-year-old Luke Nuttall, who has Type 1 diabetes. His glucose monitor didn't pick it up, but Jedi did—and woke up Luke's mother, Dorrie Nuttall, as he was trained. The California family's amazing story, which went viral on Facebook, made NatGeo's own Nicole Werbeck wonder, “How do dogs use their noses to detect human disease?” Weird Animal Question of the Week sniffed out some answers. Nose Pros Dog schnozzes are incredibly sensitive and quite complicated, which makes them excellent at smelling bombs, drugs, and even animal poop, which can help with conservation. (Read about a Chesapeake Bay retriever that sniffs out scat of disappearing South American animals.) And numerous studies have shown man's best friend can detect various cancers, including prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and melanoma. Exactly what they are smelling—in other words what cancer and diabetes smell like—is not yet known, says Cindy Otto, founder and director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Vet Working Dog Center. But there's evidence that diabetic alert dogs, or DADs, smell a volatile chemical compound released throughout the bodies of diabetics. Chemists have not yet singled out the exact compound. Since these helper dogs work with people, they get service-dog training on top of their medical-detection training—kind of like special agents. During training, diabetic alert dogs are rewarded whenever they sniff the scent of low blood sugar, provided by patient saliva samples. That way they’ll focus on that scent to the exclusion of the many other scents they’ll pick up on the job. (Related: "Detection Dogs: Learning to Pass the Sniff Continue reading >>
Diabetic Alert Dog Program.
A Diabetic alert dog gives our clients and their family piece of mind knowing they have an extra security blanket on the watch. Our dogs are trained to detect your specific high and low blood sugar. We train our dogs to alert with your specific scent samples, so by delivery time your D.A.D will already be aware of the scent your body gives off during a hypoglycemic event. We train them to alert in various environments, venues, and situations to maximize their ability to alert you. Our dogs are train to alert in house alerts, public access alerts, car alerts, and night alerts. We have a detailed 10 page application to help us determine what specific training the dogs will need to fit your needs. Some of our clients tend to have hypoglycemic events during certain times of the day we do our best to train the dogs around those times/specific situations. The very first step for our dogs is going through our puppy raising program, while their your we test them bi weekly to see which program they'd best fit into. All of our dogs are hand picked by our trained and temperament tested for each program. Once our dogs have completed our puppy raising program, we start them off in obedience. Here they learn commands such as heel, sit, down, auto sits, come, leave it, bed, load up etc... Basic manners are taught on a daily basis since our service dogs are raised and and trained in our certified trainers home, this helps us establish good manners. It also helps the dog get used to a family/home environment, thus making the transition into your home a lot easier. We try to make all the training as relevant to the what the dogs daily life style will be by beginning training in a home environment. Our dogs spend a great deal of time in obedience training since this is the foundation of t Continue reading >>
Diabetic Alert Dogs
If you are serious about managing your or your child's blood glucose levels, you know it is a constant challenge. The payoff for your ongoing work with your D.A.D. is that it can give you peace of mind and help you lead a more confident, independent life through better management of your diabetes! Our Diabetic Alert Dogs (D.A.D.'s) are specifically trained to detect and alert to the changing blood sugar levels (highs and lows) in Type 1 diabetics. We start our puppies with basic D.A.D. training at a very young age. Over an approximately 16-24 month period, they must pass high standards of behavior, health, obedience and skills training. They are exposed to a wide ranging variety of circumstances, people, animals, and places to help give them the confidence and self assurance they need to perform with distractions and to be good canine companions for a diabetic. PawPADs strives to maintain strong continuing working relationships with our clients to ensure the dog's long term success. After you are selected, we provide the support and training for you to have the highest possible chance of success with your D.A.D. Continue reading >>
Diabetes Alert Dog
Diabetes detection dog Tinker, and his diabetic owner A diabetic alert dog is an assistance dog trained to detect high (hyperglycemia) or low (hypoglycemia) levels of blood sugar in humans with diabetes and alert their owners to dangerous changes in blood glucose levels. This allows their owners to take steps to return their blood sugar to normal, such as using glucose tablets, sugar and carbohydrate rich food. The dog can prompt a human to take insulin. When owners with diabetes begin to experience hypoglycemia, the detection dogs perform a predetermined task (e.g. bark, lay down, sit) to inform the person. Dogs may be directly smelling something related to the abnormal glucose concentration, or may be reacting to the owner's symptoms which are caused by hypoglycemia, such as sweating or shaking. History The first dog trained to detect hypoglycemia was a Californian dog called Armstrong in 2003. In 2009, a dog named Tinker from Durham City became the first British assistance dog to be officially registered for a type 2 diabetic owner. He was able to give his owner Paul Jackson up to half an hour warning before an attack occurred. Training Diabetic alert dogs are trained to detect blood glucose changes using the saliva of diabetic patients. The diabetic person collects samples using gauze or dental cotton during a time when their blood sugar is just starting to get too low, or too high. Samples must be collected when the patient has not eaten within 30 minutes, brushed their teeth or used anything with a strong smell such as mouth wash in order to get the strongest scent for diabetes alert. Once the samples are collected, they are frozen and used in training dogs to alert to blood sugar changes.  Like all service dogs, diabetic respon Continue reading >>
Diabetic Alert Dogs And Your Breath
A recent study from the University of Cambridge may have pinpointed one of the chemicals diabetic alert dogs smell when they detect low blood glucose. Earlier this summer, we wrote about Diabetic Alert Dogs (DAD) and the ways in which they can help monitor and alert people with Type 1 Diabetes to dangerously high and low blood glucose levels. Dogs have a powerful sense of smell and a much more sophisticated olfactory system than humans, including an extra smell-related organ. Their keen ability to detect odors and to hone in on specific scents makes it possible for dogs to be scent trained to perform certain tasks. In the case of a DAD, scent training is related to biochemical changes in the body that relate to high and low blood glucose levels. Scent-training requires rigorous, consistent, and ongoing training, but exactly "what" these dogs are detecting that marks low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia) has remained a bit of a mystery. New UK Study Focuses on Breath A recent study from the Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science at the University of Cambridge may have pinpointed at least one of the scent markers DADs detect during hypoglycemia. In a controlled study, researchers "hypothesized that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath might change at low glucose." Focused on VOCs, the study identified naturally-occurring chemicals that appear on the breath (including acetone, methyl nitrate, ethanol, ethyl benzene, propane, and isoprene) and measures the levels of those chemicals at varying blood glucose levels. What researchers discovered was that the levels of isoprene in exhaled breath almost doubled when blood glucose was low. Other VOCs measured in the study did not show change correlated with blood glucose. Isoprene is a chemical that hum Continue reading >>
How Dogs Can Sniff Out Diabetes
A chemical found in our breath can be used as a warning sign for dangerously-low blood sugar levels in patients with type 1 diabetes - and dogs can be trained to detect it. A golden Labrador called Magic, from Cambridge, has been trained by charity Medical Detection Dogs to detect when his owner Claire Pesterfield's blood sugar levels fall to potentially dangerous levels. Hypoglycaemia – low blood sugar – can cause problems such as shakiness, disorientation and fatigue. If the patient does not receive a sugar boost in time, it can additionally cause seizures and lead to unconsciousness. In some people with diabetes, these episodes can occur suddenly with little warning. Following on from reports of dogs alerting owners to blood glucose changes, researchers at the Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, University of Cambridge, wanted to study whether certain naturally-occurring chemicals in exhaled breath might change when glucose levels were low. In a preliminary study to test this hypothesis, the scientists gradually lowered blood sugar levels under controlled conditions in eight women, all with type 1 diabetes. They then used mass spectrometry – which looks for chemical signatures – to detect the presence of these chemicals. This revealed levels of the chemical isoprene rose significantly at hypoglycaemia – in some cases almost doubling. Dogs may be sensitive to the presence of isoprene, and the researchers suggest it may be possible to develop new detectors that identify elevated levels of isoprene in patients at risk. "Low blood sugar is an everyday threat to me and if it falls too low – which it can do quickly – it can be very dangerous," explained Pesterfield. "Magic is my 'nose' to warn me if I'm at risk of a hypo. If he smells a hypo co Continue reading >>
How Service Dogs Help Canadians Living With Diabetes
Trained noses help diabetes service dogs sniff out their owners’ low blood sugar – and even save their lives. That’s dogged determination. Ukita is a 2-year-old yellow Labrador retriever who loves hitting the golf course with her owner, Cory Carter, an electrician from Langley, B.C. Off the golf course, she follows Carter from site to site, joyfully wagging her tail and occasionally carrying his tool belt. While Carter is hard at work wiring homes, Ukita works too, vigilantly smelling Carter’s breath to detect if his blood sugar suddenly drops. “I look at [having a diabetes alert dog] as another tool in the fight against diabetes, especially if you’re at your last straw,” says Carter. Carter, 28, has had type 1 diabetes since he was 10. When his blood sugar drops, he experiences hypoglycemia, a dangerous condition that can cause convulsions or even a coma. Most people notice when their blood sugar drops: Their hands tremble, they feel dizzy and they may even break into a cold sweat. But some people with diabetes, like Carter, are hypoglycemic-unaware. They don’t show the typical signs of hypoglycemia, so they need to be extra-vigilant about monitoring their blood-sugar levels. Learn more about the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes Carter has used a series of tools to treat his diabetes since his diagnosis, but in recent years, he felt he needed more help. So last January, Carter and his wife flew from Langley to Oakville, Ontario to meet Ukita, one of the Lions Foundation of Canada’s diabetes alert dogs. Training a diabetes service dog Since 2013, the Lions Foundation of Canada has trained dogs to detect when a person’s blood glucose is low. It is the only internationally accredited trainer of these dogs in Canada and offers them at no co Continue reading >>
Diabetic Alert Dog
There are many tools to use in dealing with diabetes, and the Diabetic Alert Dog is one more tool to add to the toolbox used to help families deal with their child who has diabetes. With the use of a Diabetic Alert Dog the child can gain the independence they need as they grow up and mature and the parents are not afraid to allow them to do so. Here at 4 Paws we place Diabetic Alert Dogs with children who have insulin-dependent Type 1 Diabetes. As with all medical alert dogs, Diabetic Alert Dogs are trained to smell the chemical body changes that occur as the insulin levels increase or drop. When a child is experiencing a high or low, their body is releasing chemicals that change their typical scent. A 4 Paws Dog with the right training in scent-based work is able to respond to those chemical changes, at the onset of the changes long before any adverse medical reactions occur, by alerting the parents or caregivers to the change at its onset. The parents and/or child are then able to check their blood sugar level and take appropriate action. Training Diabetic Alert Dogs for children means that we must train a dog that is unique in its ability to meet the needs of both the child with diabetes and the child’s family. Most agencies do not work with children, especially very young children. Here at 4 Paws we have no minimum age requirement and believe strongly in early intervention. In addition to the alert work, these dogs provide a measure of comfort for the child, increased self-esteem and confidence, a distraction during unpleasant medical procedures, and of course companionship. USA WEEKEND recently published an article on Megan Rittinger and her service dog, Pip. Full story . . . Continue reading >>