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How Does A Diabetic Dog Alert?

We Finally Know How Dogs Sniff Out Diabetes

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 >>

Gear: Diabetic Alert Dogs Typically Don’t Wear Special Gear. Dads Should Carry Emergency Protocols In Their Vest If The Dog Would Ever Be The First Point Of Contact With An Emergency Medical Team.

Gear: Diabetic Alert Dogs Typically Don’t Wear Special Gear. Dads Should Carry Emergency Protocols In Their Vest If The Dog Would Ever Be The First Point Of Contact With An Emergency Medical Team.

Service Dog: Diabetic Alert Dogs (DADs) Job: To alert their handler to dangerous or potentially deadly blood sugar highs and lows. Many dogs are trained to call 911 on a special K-9 Alert Phone if their partner cannot be roused. Handler: May show signs of visible disability, but likely will not. Could be any age from very, very young to a senior citizen. Notes: Diabetic Alert Dogs are also known as “Blood Sugar Alert Dogs.” Training Status Of The Dog** Emotional Support Dogs Do Not Require Training. ** By Law You Can Train Your Own Service Dog. Service Dog Owners By Law Are Not Required To Have Any Doctors Note. DOCUMENTS BELOW ARE SENT INSTANTLY VIA EMAIL ONCE YOU COMPLETE REGISTRATION* A reasonable housing request is one of the required documents by law you must provide to your landlord in order to put them on notice and enforce your federal rights which allow your dog to live in housing where a no pet policy is in place or pet deposits would normally be required. A letter of registration issued is for this registry and VALID IN ALL 50 STATES. The Service Dog Fact Book is a must have. (sent via email) The book covers many topics you will need to know. The book covers not only service animals but emotional support and therapy dogs. These items are sent instantly to the email address you provide. Continue reading >>

Guide: Training A Diabetes Alert Dog

Guide: Training A Diabetes Alert Dog

Have you ever wondered what it takes to teach your dog to sense your oncoming low blood sugars and actually alert you to them? I’ve spent a great deal of time with a friend whose dog, Becca, does exactly this for her diabetes, and it is impressive every time. But unless you’re fortunate enough to get involved with a charity that trains diabetes alert dogs, or you can afford the pretty penny it costs to have your dog trained by a professional, it’s not easy to simply teach your own dog how to be a “Diabetes Alert Dog.” Veronica Zimmerman recently published the most comprehensive guide for training your dog to be your best friend in diabetes management, titled, DOG – A Diabetic’s Best Friend Training Guide. Having lived with type 1 diabetes since she was a child, Veronica has developed her own training program and dog-training business centered around hypoglycemia awareness dogs, called “Veronica’s Cloud-9 K9.” This book provides its readers with knowledge on: How to choose the right dog for the job How to assess the temperament How to train the basic obedience training needed to pass the American Kennel Club’s, Canine Good Citizen test How to train for hypoglycemic / hyperglycemic alerts How to collect and store hypoglycemic / hyperglycemic samples How to do the scent training How to train your dog to alert at night What handlers must know in regard to the American Disability Act regulations As a proud dog-lover myself, I’ve often wondered if my very attentive and rather intuitive goldendoodle would have made a great diabetes alert dog, had I taken the time to have him trained (or trained him myself). One of the first paragraphs I found intriguing in Zimmerman’s book was when she explained how not every dog is meant to be an alert dog: “I just Continue reading >>

How Dogs Sniff Out Diabetes On Your Breath

How Dogs Sniff Out Diabetes On Your Breath

(CNN)Imagine if your dog could sense when you're about to pass out -- and do so in enough time to stop it. This scenario is a reality for hundreds worldwide, including Claire Pesterfield, a pediatric diabetes nurse at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Pesterfield has type 1 diabetes, a form of the condition in which the pancreas is unable to produce any insulin and cannot regulate blood sugar. Her sugar levels can fall dangerously low -- known as hypoglycemia -- causing shakiness, confusion, disorientation and potentially unconsciousness. But her golden Labrador retriever sidekick is ready to alert her before it kicks in, day or night. "If he smells a hypo coming, he'll jump up and put his paws on my shoulders to let me know," Pesterfield said. Her dog, Magic, is one of 75 medical alert assistance dogs trained by the UK charity Medical Detection Dogs to help people monitor a range of health conditions, including type 1 diabetes. About 10% of all people with diabetes are estimated to have type 1, in which the risk of hypoglycemia is far greater. The dogs have been in service since 2009, trained to detect changes in their owner's breath when blood sugar declines, but the precise scents they're picking up have remained largely unknown -- until now. "We're interested if there are messages coming off the body at different blood sugar levels, either on the skin or breath," said Dr. Mark Evans, a consultant in diabetes and general medicine at Addenbrooke's Hospital and a lecturer in general medicine at the University of Cambridge. In a recent study, Evans explored 10 chemicals released on the breath of eight volunteers with type 1 diabetes when sugar levels become critical. He found that one chemical almost doubled in quantity: a compound called isoprene. Id Continue reading >>

Diabetes Alert Dog

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] History[edit] The first dog trained to detect hypoglycemia was a Californian dog called Armstrong in 2003.[5] 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.[6] Training[edit] 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. [7][8] Like all service dogs, diabetic respon Continue reading >>

Hypo Alert Dogs

Hypo Alert Dogs

Tweet Hypo alert dogs are specially trained to recognise when their owner has low blood glucose levels, hypoglycemia. Specialist organisations, such as the UK charity Medical Detection Dogs, train dogs to recognise signs of low blood sugar and take action to prevent a medical emergency. Who could a hypo alert dog be suitable for? A hypo alert dog may be suitable for someone that has impaired hypo awareness, meaning they have significant difficulty in recognising when their blood glucose is dropping to potentially dangerous levels. If the lack of hypo awareness is having a pronounced, negative effect on that person’s quality of life, they may be eligible for a hypo alert dog. Loss of hypo awareness is more likely to develop in people dependent on insulin who have frequent episodes of hypoglycemia. How are dogs able to recognise hypoglycemia? Dogs are known to have a very keen sense of smell and the dogs are able to pick up on subtle changes of odour to detect low or high blood glucose levels. The dogs are trained to recognise different odours and are rewarded each time they pass a test. How do the dogs help to treat a hypo? Hypo alert dogs can respond to hypoglycemia in a number of ways which may include warning the owner, fetching the owner’s blood glucose testing kit or pressing a specially installed alarm in the owner’s house. Can my dog be trained to be a hypo alert dog? It may be possible. The dogs need to have certain temperament qualities and organisations such as the Medical Detection Dogs charity will need to meet certain criteria. Are hypo alert dogs the same as guide dogs? Hypo alert dogs have a different set of skills to guide dogs. However, it is possible that a guide dog could also be a hypo alert dog if it passed the necessary training. As hypo alert Continue reading >>

There Are 5 Core Foundations Of The Diabetic Alert Dog 101tm Program

There Are 5 Core Foundations Of The Diabetic Alert Dog 101tm Program

1. Stably temperamented dogs. Dogs need to be free from all signs of aggression and anxiety. 2. Affordable training. It shouldnt cost you $25,000 to train your own dog for diabetic alert. There has to be a better way. Thats where the Diabetic Alert Dog 101TM program comes in handy. 3. Ensuring that our dogs are happy and are allowed to be dogs. Some service dog organizations have a 75% drop out rate. Some of these dogs are dropped from the program for being unable to shut down everything that is dog about a dog. We think dogs should be allowed to play with other dogs, that dogs should be allowed to play with a ball or engage in a little telephone pole sniffing every once and a while. What is so wrong with that? We think there has to be a middle ground between robot dogs and ill behaved dogs. 4. Training using strict positive reinforcement methodologies. Dominance methodology creates a confrontational relationship with your dog. Do you really want to train a dog that is supposed to be saving your life in a confrontational manner? No way! If you wouldnt do it to your two year old, why would you do it to your dog? What the Diabetic Alert Dog 101TM training methodology creates is a dog that who thinks you are the sun, moon and the stars, a dog that thinks you are the granter of all good things in their life, a dog that not only enjoys his job but is obsessed over it 5. Creation of a THINKING dog Have you ever had a low blood sugar before? What does it feel like? It seems like the first thing to go is critical thinking skills. What type of dog would you rather have? A dog that you have to tell what to do when you are in a state of brain dysfunction or a dog who assesses the situation a responds to it again and again and again trying to get your attention in many different wa Continue reading >>

What You Need To Know About Diabetic Alert Dogs

What You Need To Know About Diabetic Alert Dogs

Dogs possess an incredibly powerful sense of smell. That’s why we use these impressive animals to detect the presence of drugs, explosives, and other contraband, ultimately helping to keep society safer. Dogs’ sense of smell is also being used to help people with diabetes. A recently published paper found that trained diabetic alert dogs (DADs) were able to detect odors that diabetic individuals produce when in a hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) state. Some experienced DAD trainers suggest that trained dogs can identify changes in a diabetic’s chemistry derived from his breath or sweat 15-30 minutes before it can be detected by traditional intermittent glucose monitoring (the type of monitoring used by most people with diabetes). However, another recently published paper found that there was a high false positive rate of dog alerts in Type 1 diabetics and that the less commonly used continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) was able to detect hypoglycemia much earlier. Despite this finding, the same study showed that dog users were very satisfied and largely confident in their dog’s ability to detect hypoglycemia. Once the service dog detects the potential problem, they alert their owner by pawing, barking, or other behaviors. The dog can even be taught to fetch a cell phone for his person. This allows the owner to take the necessary steps and precautions to prevent an issue. He is also taught to alert other people in the household if his owner experiences an issue and cannot respond because he is confused or even unconscious. Such highly trained canines could save many lives. Typical breeds Theoretically, any dog could learn to become a diabetic service dog, but in reality, several breeds dominate the field. These include: Golden retrievers Labrador retrievers Poodles Continue reading >>

Diabetic Alert Dogs

Diabetic Alert Dogs

Diabetic Alert Dogs Living a balanced life as a Diabetic or diabetes care taker isn’t always easy. With the unconditional support of a Diabetic Alert Dog, that balance becomes a possibility. SDWR’s alert dogs for diabetics provide the stability, safety and support that more Diabetics desire in their life. SDWR places golden retrievers and labrador retrievers, in EXTREME cases due to doctor-verified allergies, we can also place doodles. The SDWR Difference for Diabetes As service dog providers, we’ve seen first hand how Diabetes can affect not only the individual, but his or her family as well. Constant care, a lack of sleep, and unshakable fear from highs and lows are all realities a diabetes care taker faces. Diabetic individuals themselves might have a hard time living life fully, due to the limitations of coping with diabetes. Through SDWR’s highly-trained Diabetic Assistance Dogs, thousands of individuals and families lives have been touched. With our service dogs, those struck by invisible illness can find independence from fear and around-the clock care. Having a service dog as a companion promotes freedom, and keeps you safe from hitting sharp highs and lows. As we know, investing in a Diabetic Alert Dog is a solid investment in your mental and physical health. We Train Our Diabetic Alert Dogs To Help With The Following: High & Low Blood Sugar Alerts Early High/Low Detection Retrieve Third Party Support Retrieve Food & Medication Such as Glucagon, Glucose Tabs, Insulin, Juice , Meters, etc. Dial 911 on a Special Device Public Access Training, Testing, Certifications See Our Dogs In Action Offering Miracles World-Wide To fulfill our mission as accessible service dog providers, SDWR does not have any geographic limitations. We service those with invisible i Continue reading >>

Service Dogs Alert Diabetic Patients Of Blood Sugar Levels

Service Dogs Alert Diabetic Patients Of Blood Sugar Levels

We all know that a dog can be your best friend, but service dogs are more than just a member of the family. Meet Able, an aptly named service dog that is trained to care for diabetic patients. Mason Gueris is diabetic and Abel is his service dog, trained to detect Mason's blood sugar levels and alert the teenager when it is time to check his levels. "He’s there for me, whenever I’m high or low, or I’m even good. He’s there to protect me and keep me safe," says Mason. But Abel is more than just Gueris' best friend. You see Gueris was just 9-years-old when diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. "The dog can smell my blood sugars through my pores, my skin and it gets him stressed out. He’ll pant, he'll whine, he'll be all over the place," said Gueris. That kind of behavior was a welcome relief for Gueris' mother. "It was extremely hard doing this by myself, I have been a single mom, just adjusting to, we had to account for every single piece of food or liquid that went into mason's mouth. Sleeping there was no such thing as being able to sleep,” says Hollie Gueris, Mason’s mother. She use to have to get up every three hours to check her son's blood sugar. Now the black Labrador goes everywhere Mason does and takes a lot of worries away from his mother. "Twenty minutes after Abel first arrived, he was already alerting to Mason that he had a blood sugar level of 260," said Hollie Gueris. For the three people who live in this home, the 2 ½-year-old dog has been a guardian and a life changer. "I’m able to breathe a little easier at night knowing that Mason has Abel to be his friend, his guardian he watches over him at night. It gives us all a sense of peace," said Hollie Gueris. Service dogs have been trained to help with many different types of disabilities like all Continue reading >>

Services

Services

What do service dogs do? Service dogs can be trained to carry out a variety of tasks to make life easier for persons with a disability or persons who are suffering from a condition so that they are able to carry out their daily activities like everyone else. Among other things, service dogs can be trained as: Autism Assistance Dogs – these dogs give persons on the autistic spectrum support and provide them with confidence and a sense of independence. Diabetic Alert Dogs – these dogs alert a diabetic person when their blood sugar level is reaching dangerously high or low levels. Hearing Dogs - these dogs alert a person with hearing difficulties when there is something that needs their immediate attention such as a knock on the door, a smoke alarm or a baby crying. Mobility Assistance Dogs – among other things, these dogs are trained to pick up or carry objects and open and close drawers and doors for people who have mobility issues or are wheelchair-bound. Seizure Alert Dogs – these dogs alert a person who is prone to seizures that an episode is imminent so that the person can lie down or take other precautions such as stop driving. Therapy Dogs – these dogs provide comfort and a sense of peace and security for people with mental health conditions. There are as many types of service dogs as there are conditions which can be eased by training a dog to perform a task! For the time being we are focusing on training Autism Assistance Dogs, Diabetic Alert Dogs and Therapy Dogs with a special emphasis on training dogs to work with children. If you think you or a member of your family would benefit from the services of an Autism Assistance or Diabetic Alert Dog you may contact us to obtain a relevant application form. The Service Dogs are given to the persons who need Continue reading >>

Diabetic Alert Dog Fundamentals – Free Training Advice

Diabetic Alert Dog Fundamentals – Free Training Advice

Mary McNeight, CPDT-KA, owner and head trainer of the Service Dog Academy shared some of her diabetic alert dog training fundamentals in a free webinar earlier this month with attendees from all over the country. With her background in training service dogs, and seeing the effects of diabetes through personal experience and with family members, McNeight set out to make training dogs for diabetic alert accessible for everyone. Attendees from all over including Denver, San Antonio, Anaheim, Brooklyn, Michigan, Virginia, and New Jersey also got a sneak peak at Diabetic Alert Dog University – the next phase in McNeight’s quest for offering low-cost diabetic alert dog training to type one and type two diabetics, hypoglycemics, and pre-diabetics. “I did find your webinar useful and your approach compatible [sic] with my own training beliefs. I am fascinated by the whole process!” In this program, dogs are allowed to be dogs through the use of games, solving puzzles, and making service work incredibly rewarding. By using positive reinforcement methods, Service Dog Academy’s diabetic alert dog program keeps a dog’s spirit intact. The puzzles and games that are part of the training have been developed to create an improvisational dog. Furthermore, by working with your own dog and doing the training with your dog, it will give you the ability to keep up with the training. Unfortunately, when an already trained dog is given to a person he may lose his ability to alert within a few months. With this program, in addition to the basics of alerting to blood sugar changes, getting drinks from the refrigerator, retrieving your meter and getting help, this program gives you the fundamentals to teach your dog more complicated tasks when you come up with them. The main goal of Continue reading >>

Diabetes Alert Dogs To The Rescue

Diabetes Alert Dogs To The Rescue

If you have hypoglycemic unawareness, a service dog can truly be your best friend. If you’re among the 40% of people with diabetes who have hypoglycemic unawareness—a condition in which you don't realize your blood sugar is dangerously low—a service dog can help keep you safe. Diabetic Alert Dogs, also known as DADs, often wear a backpack containing medical info, a sugar source for their owners in case of a low blood sugar event and emergency contact information. They have a keen sense of smell that can detect fluctuations in sugar levels often before a blood glucose monitor can. These dogs undergo a rigorous scent training program that’s similar to the training methods used to train drug sniffing or search and rescue dogs. "Ultimately our diabetic alert dogs are trained to alert their owner to a high or low blood sugar," says Kelly Camm, development director of 4 Paws for Ability, a service dog agency that specializes in offering trained service dogs to children and veterans, in Xenia, Ohio. If the dog senses that its owner has a sugar level that’s too high (or too low), it will alert the person right away. Diabetic service dogs are also trained to test breath for low blood sugar, pick up and carry objects such as juice bottles, retrieve cell phones and act as a brace to help a person who may have fallen down. “For the most part, our trained dogs will either lick the person or sit in front of him and bark if they detect fluctuations in blood sugar levels,” Camm says. However, some diabetic service dog training companies say that a bark is not a desired primary. That's because a bark can be very disruptive and stressful and service dogs can actually be asked to leave public places for barking. If it’s a child who is diabetic, the dog—which might be a g Continue reading >>

Pet Talk: Diabetic Alert Service Dogs Can Add Years To 9-year-old’s Life

Pet Talk: Diabetic Alert Service Dogs Can Add Years To 9-year-old’s Life

When 9-year-old Kiernan Sullivan started school this month, he attends each class in the company of his new best friend – a 2-year-old service dog named Kermit. “It’s fun but hard,” Kiernan says of his new charge. “You have to feed him, take him out to bathroom and take him out for walks.” Kiernan has Type 1 diabetes, which usually affects children and young adults and accounts for about 5 percent of all diabetes cases. It occurs when the body does not produce insulin, a hormone needed to convert starches, sugars and other food into energy. Kiernan, who was diagnosed when he was six, experienced a grand mal seizure in November. The experience was scary, but his parents thought they could manage Kiernan’s disease with careful meal planning and regular insulin shots. Then one Saturday morning in March, Kiernan’s mom, Michelle Sullivan, awoke to a horrifying scene. Her husband, Stuart, had left early that morning to go grocery shopping so the family could do something together. He kissed her goodbye and closed the bedroom door so she could sleep in a bit. She awoke to her husband’s terrified screams as he came home to find their son lying unconscious on the kitchen floor. Kiernan had wandered into the kitchen to find some sugary food to bolster his blood sugar but found only sugar-free licorice. Bright red licorice was still smeared on his face when his parents found him. The Sullivans realized they needed help. Thanks to the help of a staff member at Kiernan’s school, City View Charter School in Hillsboro, they found out about Dogs Assisting Diabetics. About Dogs Assisting Diabetics The Forest Grove-based nonprofit was founded by dog trainer Kristin Tarnowski and Darlene LaRose Cain, a former national chair for the American Diabetes Association. Since Continue reading >>

Can Diabetes Alert Dogs Help Sniff Out Low Blood Sugar?

Can Diabetes Alert Dogs Help Sniff Out Low Blood Sugar?

For people with diabetes who take insulin, the risk of losing consciousness from low blood sugar is a constant fear. Devices called continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) can alert wearers to dropping levels, but not everyone has access to them. And even among those who do, some prefer a furrier and friendlier alert option: a service dog with special training to alert owners when their blood sugar reaches dangerously low levels. These dogs are trained in a variety of ways, and although they receive certification, there is no universally accepted test to ensure their competence. Fully trained dogs can cost in the $20,000 range and typically aren't covered by insurance, although some nonprofit organizations can help offset the cost. But as the popularity of diabetes alert dogs to detect hypoglycemia has increased dramatically, their effectiveness is largely unknown, according to Evan Los, a pediatric endocrinologist at Oregon Health & Science University who has studied their use. "Though dog trainers and dog users are generally enthusiastic," he notes. Moreover, it's not clear exactly what the dogs may be detecting. Are they actually "smelling" low blood sugar, or are they reacting to typical hypoglycemia symptoms in their owner, such as sweating or shaking? Two new studies add scent to the trail. One, published in the journal Diabetes Care, suggests that the dogs may be smelling a particular substance in the person's breath that rises as blood sugar falls. But a second study, presented by Los at the recent meeting of the American Diabetes Association in New Orleans, found that although the dogs do appear to detect low blood sugar, they also often alerted owners when they didn't have low blood sugar, and were usually slower than a CGM to alert to actual low blood sugar. Sniff Continue reading >>

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