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How Does A Diabetic Dog Alert?

Etsu Physician Studies Reliability Of Diabetes Alert Dogs

Etsu Physician Studies Reliability Of Diabetes Alert Dogs

JOHNSON CITY (Dec. 14, 2016) – Dr. Evan Los chose to become a pediatric endocrinologist because he wants to make sure kids with diabetes get the best care possible. With that in mind, Los spent the past couple of years designing and conducting a study that looked into the reliability of diabetes alert dogs. “I wanted to make sure kids and families affected by diabetes had the best information possible,” said Los, an assistant professor in the East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics as well as a practicing physician with Mountain States Health Alliance. “I was trying to answer the question, ‘Are diabetes dogs really doing what patients think they are doing?’” Diabetes alert dogs are service animals trained to alert their owners in advance of incidents of high or low blood sugar before those levels become dangerous. Los specifically studied the dogs’ abilities to detect low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, in individuals with type 1 diabetes. “What we found is, yes, dogs can do this, but they are missing it a lot, too,” he said. In studying eight patients with diabetes alert dogs, Los found the dogs do have success in detecting low blood sugar, but missed a low blood sugar event more than half the time and also alerted owners when their blood sugar was not low. Additionally, when the dogs did alert, they were typically slower than continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), which are devices approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and used to alert individuals with diabetes of high and low blood sugar. The dogs also have more variables impacting their abilities to detect and alert hypoglycemia, Los said, noting a dog’s need to eat, use the bathroom and sleep as examples. The study found that the dog us 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 >>

We Train Diabetes Assist Dogs To Help People With Type I Diabetes.

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 >>

Diabetic Alert Dog

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 >>

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 >>

Service Dogs Pick Up Scent Of Diabetes Danger

Service Dogs Pick Up Scent Of Diabetes Danger

About two times a night, Shana Eppler wakes up to an alarm and slips into her daughter Abbie's room to test the 8-year-old's blood sugar. Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 4, Abbie experiences low blood-sugar levels, a potentially dangerous condition known as hypoglycemia that can cause the loss of consciousness. The alarm Ms. Eppler uses to avoid a health emergency is a furry one named Gracie, an 70-pound, 3-year-old British Labrador retriever trained to sniff out high and low blood-sugar levels. When Abbie's sugar level rises or falls below a certain target at night, Gracie rings a bell and Ms. Eppler gets up. "The scenting part comes naturally," says Ms. Eppler, of Colorado Springs, Colo. "They are hunting blood sugars instead of ducks." Diabetic, or hypoglycemic, "alert dogs" are a growing class of service dogs best known for guiding the visually impaired, sniffing out drugs and bombs, or providing mobility assistance for people with severe disabilities. Most recently, they have been trained to sniff out cancer and oncoming seizures. Toni Eames, president of International Association of Assistance Dog Partners, estimates there are over 30,000 assistance dogs working in the U.S., including dogs that have been trained by individuals. The dog's accuracy and speed can beat medical devices, such as glucose meters and continuous glucose monitors, according to doctors, owners and trainers. With their acute sense of smell, the dogs—mostly retrievers—are able to react to a scent that researchers haven't yet identified. For centuries, doctors diagnosed diabetes by identifying sweetness in the urine of a patient. That scent comes from glucose that isn't absorbed when a person lacks insulin, but the chemicals produced during low-blood-sugar incidents have yet to Continue reading >>

This Is How Dogs Detect Low Blood Sugar In Folks With Diabetes

This Is How Dogs Detect Low Blood Sugar In Folks With Diabetes

One of the many burdens that someone with diabetes has to suffer with is the task of constantly monitoring their blood sugar levels. For some people, this means pricking their finger every hour to test their blood for normal levels of glucose. For others, it means employing the help of a Diabetic Alert Dog to assist with this daunting task. A Diabetic Alert Dog is highly trained to alert someone with diabetes when their glucose levels fall out of a normal range. Source: lukeandjedi Through practice a Diabetic Alert Dog can learn to detect dropping or rising glucose levels 30 minutes before their handler experiences any symptoms. This allows a diabetic person enough time to check their glucose levels and take the steps necessary to avoid serious complications. Some Diabetic Alert Dogs are also trained to get help or retrieve medical supplies. Source: diabeticalertdog Diabetic Alert Dog can be especially helpful during situations where it’s difficult for someone to check their blood sugar with a medical device (i.e. during sleep, a business meeting, exercise, or while driving). Many people that suffer from diabetes have to wake up several times a night and check their blood sugar levels or they might go into a diabetic coma while they are sleeping. Source: service_dog_thunder So how are these amazing dog’s trained? The training for a Diabetic Alert Dog varies depending on the organization or trainer. The most highly trained Service Dogs are bred for the job and are trained from birth until they are around 18 months of age (sometimes more). Some organizations however aren’t breed specific and will train any dog with a strong nose and a willingness to work. Source: diabeticalertdog All Service Dog training begins with socialization and obedience training. During socia 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 >>

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 >>

What Are Diabetic Alert Dogs (dads)?

What Are Diabetic Alert Dogs (dads)?

Diabetic Alert Dogs — affectionately known as DADs — are service dogs that are trained specifically to assist diabetics. Their primary task as service dogs is to alert diabetics of an oncoming hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic event (low or high blood sugar!) DADs are able to do this by reacting to particular smells that are emitted from the human body due to chemical shifts caused by either hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia (undetected by a human nose). There are various ways that the dog can alert their human of a low or high blood sugar, which all depends on how it is trained. These skills require rigorous training from professional service dog trainers. In addition to being on alert for blood sugar malfunctions, Diabetic Alert Dogs are known to provide a tremendous amount of love and emotional support to its owner, resulting in an increased sense of security and balance in the daily life of someone with Type 1. How can I find my own DAD? Getting a Diabetic Alert Dog of your very own is a process. The first step is to find a legitimate, accredited organization made up of trainers that will assist you in both the acquiring and the training of your new DAD. Alternatively, there are Diabetic Alert Dog Training schools that will assist in the training and development of the dog of your own choosing. After being matched with the right dog for you, you may be asked to provide a “scent collection kit” so that your dog can learn your body chemistry during its training. Home visits are scheduled in order to begin the bonding process. Organizations & Resources How long do I have to wait for my dog? The average wait time for your DAD to be ready to come home with you for good is approximately six months to a year. What is the cost? The exact cost will depend on the particular o Continue reading >>

Diabetes Alert Dogs

Diabetes Alert Dogs

Tarra Robinson was afraid that she was going to lose her job. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 18 months old, Tarra had recently developed hypoglycemic unawareness, which affects about 17% of type 1 diabetics. Tarra was passing out at work, and once she even crashed her car when her blood sugar dropped unexpectedly. She went on a pump and tried a CGM, but nothing seemed to help. She was still having frequent, dangerous lows. Scared of losing her job and her license, Tarra began to research Diabetes Alert Dogs. It took a year and a half to raise the nearly $10,000 dollars required, and then the training process for Duchess, her Labrador/Golden Retriever mix, began. “I can’t explain what she’s done to my world,” Tarra says. Trainers say that Diabetes Alert Dogs are right 90 percent of the time. These service dogs are “scent trained” with cotton balls of sweat from a person’s body during a low blood sugar. After a period of extensive training, Duchess came home to Texas with Tarra. Now, when she senses a low blood sugar, Duchess knows what to do. First, she will lick Tarra’s hand. If Tarra doesn’t respond by saying, “Glucose” which is the command for the dog to go get the glucose tabs, then Duchess will paw her leg or thigh and eventually her chest. Duchess sleeps next to Tarra at night, and will get on top of her to wake her up if she senses a low. “She doesn’t give up,” Tarra says. “She’s very good at her job.” Science Thus far, attempts to demonstrate that dogs can detect hypoglycemia are based on little more than anecdotal reports. Dr. Deborah L. Wells, Senior Lecturer at the School of Psychology at Queen’s University in Belfast, has studied dog responses to their type 1 owners. Her study, Canine Responses to Hypoglycemia Continue reading >>

Diabetes Alert Dogs

Diabetes Alert Dogs

Breanne Harris, 25, first encountered a diabetes alert dog when she was a counselor at a camp for children with diabetes. Two people from Dogs4Diabetics, Inc., (D4D) – a nonprofit organization that trains assistance dogs to detect hypoglycemia in people with diabetes – brought an alert-dog-in-training to camp. Every night, the counselors would make midnight rounds to check campers’ blood glucose levels. In the dormitory, the dog tore free from the trainer, ran to one teenager, jumped on the bed, and tried to awaken the girl. “We checked her blood sugar immediately, and her sugar was 32 mg/dl, which is severely low,” says Harris, who has lived with Type 1 diabetes since she was 4. “I was sold at that point and applied for a dog.” Kristen Beard, 24, who also has Type 1 diabetes, got a golden retriever puppy named Montana when she was about 19. One night Montana would not leave her alone as she slept. “He was crying and pawing at me. I was mad because he woke me up, but once I became aware, I thought maybe I should test my blood sugar. I tested it, and it was low,” Beard says. “I thought it was a fluke, but he started doing it regularly.” Now he wakes her at least twice a month to warn about her falling blood glucose. “He just started doing it on his own, and I reinforce the behavior with treats,” she says. Veterinarian Nicholas Dodman recalls a client who had a German shepherd that was afraid of men, including the woman’s husband. The dog would avoid him even if they were in the same room. But one night, the dog woke him. The man realized that his wife, who had diabetes, was becoming hypoglycemic. After that, if the woman’s blood glucose dropped dangerously low, the dog would overcome his fear and wake up the man to help her. “It was the on 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 >>

Diabetes Alert Dogs: Everything You Need To Know

Diabetes Alert Dogs: Everything You Need To Know

Note: This article has been reviewed by Dr. Dana Hardin MD, and Dr. Jennifer Cattet Ph.D. Many individuals with type 1 diabetes spend their days worrying about the possibility of having a low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia). Aside from frequent testing of blood glucose levels (self monitoring of blood glucose, SMBG), they may experience uncomfortable signs of hypoglycemia such as sweating, shaking, or confusion. These early symptoms of hypoglycemia are helpful, even though uncomfortable, because they help the person with diabetes know it is time to check their glucose level. Once the person checks and learns they are hypoglycemic, they are taught what food or drink to take to raise their blood sugar. If the low blood sugar is not treated in time, persistent hypoglycemia can lead to seizures, blackouts, or even coma. Unfortunately, over time (generally after 5 or so years) a person with 1 diabetes no longer feels symptoms when his/her blood glucose is low. This condition is known as Hypoglycemia Unawareness. When hypoglycemia unawareness develops, the person is at much greater risk for the development of persistent hyperglycemia and all of the dangerous problems listed above. Patients have reported feeling ok and not knowing they had low blood sugar until they wake up on the floor, or they have had a seizure. Some don’t realize what happened until they are taken to the hospital. If you are one of these individuals, you probably worry about your next hypoglycemia episode on a daily basis. You would likely feel much better if you were aware of something or someone which could help you monitor and alert your oncoming low blood sugar drop. Well, good news! A diabetes alert dog (DAD) can help you become aware of hypoglycemia even if you don’t feel any different. To give Continue reading >>

Type You Support Group

Type You Support Group

Frequently asked questions about Medical Assistance & Diabetic Alert Dogs What is a Service dog and why does it have special rights for access? Service dogs are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities – such as guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, or performing other special tasks. The Americans with Disabilities Act provides public access rights for these dogs and their disabled handlers. What is the difference between a Medical Assistance Dog, a Diabetic Alert Assistance Dog and a Medical Response Dog? Medical Assistance Dogs are service dogs that have been trained to respond to an identifiable element that is available to their senses in order to support the medical condition of their handler. Diabetic Alert Assistance Dogs are a specific type of Medical Assistance Dog that has been trained to use their highly sensitive scent capabilities to identify the changes in blood chemistry that occur during rapid changes in blood sugar levels. Medical Response Dogs are another type of Medical Assistance Dog that has been trained to assist persons based on recognition of symptoms pertaining to a specific medical condition. The differences between medical alert and medical response training is the trigger that the dog has been trained to identify. In the case of a Diabetic Alert Dog, the trigger is the change in blood chemistry, allowing the diabetic to treat hypoglycemia prior to becoming symptomatic. A Medical Response Dog for diabetes responds to the handler as symptoms are occurring. D4D’s testing and experience with its clients has shown that there is a 15 to 30 minute difference in this response. How can the dog notify its handler when it se Continue reading >>

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