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Training A Diabetic Alert Dog

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Scent Training: First Steps With A Diabetic Alert Dog (video)

Scent Training: First Steps With A Diabetic Alert Dog (video)

Sherlock came to live with me when he was nine weeks old, and we got right to work–crate training, recall and the puppy sit. Then, at four months, I started to take him with me everywhere for socialization–work, read-a-thons, hiking, out to eat and even Universal Studios. After he turned a year, he got his health checks. He has great hips, and an exceptional heart. Now that he’s generally well behaved and in good health, it’s time to start the final phase–scent training. Scent training has three basic components: Odor Alert Reward Sherlock’s first odor is saliva from a diabetic with low blood sugar. I started with low blood sugar because it can quickly progress to a life threatening situation. After completing scent training, he will eventually alert his handler of high or low blood sugar by taking her a bringsel, which is a fancy word for a dog toy. Sherlock’s reward while I’m training him is a quick game of retrieve. In order to train a dog on a scent, you must have scent samples. My sister is diabetic, so when her sugars dropped below 80, she spit into cotton and froze it to help me train Sherlock. The swabs of cotton are labeled with sugar level and date and stored in my freezer until it’s time for a training session. (This is the reason I don’t believe I could train a cadaver dog…body parts in my freezer.) Before I start training sessions with Sherlock, I take the cotton swab out and let it defrost for 30 minutes. Then, the cotton goes into a piece of PVC pipe with holes drilled in it. The first time I worked with Sherlock, I tossed the PVC pipe, with the cotton inside, in the back yard on the lawn. This simple game of retrieve taught Sherlock to associate the smell of low blood sugar with a reward, and for the first week that’s all he neede 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 >>

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 >>

$25k Diabetic Alert Dogs Were Untrained, Un-housebroken Puppies, Lawsuit Says

$25k Diabetic Alert Dogs Were Untrained, Un-housebroken Puppies, Lawsuit Says

Sign up or login to join the discussions! $25K diabetic alert dogs were untrained, un-housebroken puppies, lawsuit says The dogs were said to detect owners low blood sugar, but they werent even housebroken. Dogs supposedly trained to detect and respond to potentially life-threatening blood sugar levels in people with diabetes were, in reality, often untrained, un-housebroken puppies with hefty pricetagscurrently set at $25,000. At least, thats according to a lawsuit filed this week by Attorney General Mark Herring on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia. According to the lawsuit, the non-profit company Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers and its owner Charles Warren Jr. made extraordinary claims about their diabetic alert dogs. The company and Warren said that the dogs were highly trained and that their performance was backed by science. The SDWR website advertised the animals as being able to: detect low/high blood sugar levels through scents in skin and breath; retrieve needed food and medications, such as insulin; seek help when required; and even dial 911 in an emergency. Diabetic Alert Dogs are 100% accurate and often alert as much as 20-45 minutes before a meter shows theres even a problem, the company boasted. And customers were promised regular access to trainers as needed to help personalize the dogs' training. For these remarkable tricks and services, SDWR has charged customers anywhere from $18,000 to $27,000 per dog through the years. The current cost is around $25,000, and the company encourages customers to fundraise to help pay for the animals. Virginia has a bone to pick about almost all of that. Though the prices were real, the dogs abilities were not, according to the lawsuit. Customers said they received ready dogs that were not at all trained to det Continue reading >>

Diabetic Alert Service Dogs

Diabetic Alert Service Dogs

Service Dogs for Those with Diabetes Type 1 Service dogs can be an extremely important part of someones life who is living with diabetes. A fully formed partnership permits people who have a disability to have a higher level of independence within their lives, as well as better socialization skills, more stability, and a friend constantly by their side to experience lifes amazing moments. The Americans with Disabilities Act affirms that individuals with disabilities have the benefit of having their service dogs with them in public spaces, buildings, and facilities. 1.25 million Americans are living with Diabetes Type 1. This includes about 200,000 individuals less than 20 years old and more than 1 million adults over the age of 20. Each year in the United States there are 40,000 new diagnoses of Diabetes Type 1. It is common for the disease to impair individuals from living their lives due to the numerous symptoms such as extreme weakness, dehydration, nausea, irritability, and mood changes. CPL Alert Dogs offer those with diabetes greater freedom to improve their quality of lifeby alerting ahead of time that a blood sugar decrease is impending. By giving their partners time to take precautions, this helps prevent serious injuries from falls and other related complications. How Do Diabetic Alert Dogs Help Their Partner? Alert Individual if Blood Sugar is Dropping CPL Alert Dogs for Diabetes are trained to detect low or high blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia & hyperglycemia) in their early stages, before the blood sugar levels become too dangerous. The dogs are able to do this through smell. There various distinctodors that accompany different blood sugar levels. In order to train our dogs to help those with diabetes, the future partner will take a sample of their saliva 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 >>

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 >>

Service Dogs That Can Monitor Their Owners’ Diabetes

Service Dogs That Can Monitor Their Owners’ Diabetes

Hypoglycemia unawareness is a common — and dangerous — condition that can develop in those with type 1 diabetes. This condition means you don’t experience the symptoms most people do when their blood sugar gets too low. Normal symptoms of low blood sugar include sweating, shaking, or confusion. At very low levels, you may experience seizures, or go into a coma if your blood sugar is too low for too long. One of the solutions for this condition is man’s best friend: a diabetes service dog. Dogs have a naturally heightened sense of smell that makes them excellent hunters. Professional trainers have learned to harness these skills by training dogs to recognize certain smells. These could include the fruity smelling ketones a person’s body produces when they are experiencing a hyperglycemic episode when blood sugar is too high, or the unique scent a person gives off during a hypoglycemic episode when blood sugar is too low. A diabetes service dog isn’t a replacement for checking blood sugar levels. However, it is a safeguard for those who experience episodes low or high blood sugar, especially if they do not have warning symptoms. There are several service dog-training programs across the country. Examples include the National Institute for Diabetic Alert Dogs (NIDAD) and Diabetic Alert Dog University. These organizations train a dog to recognize the difference between certain scents. This includes the scent a person releases when their blood sugar is high or low. According to Dogs 4 Diabetics, there are two different levels of service dogs for people with diabetes. Medical response dogs for diabetes are trained to respond to signs that an owner may be experiencing low blood sugar levels, once they have become symptomatic. A diabetic alert dog, on the other hand 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 >>

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 >>

Dr. Hardin On Training Diabetic Alert Dogs

Dr. Hardin On Training Diabetic Alert Dogs

WRITTEN BY: Katie Doyle Dr. Dana Hardin is a senior medical advisor in Biomedicines at Eli Lilly and Company, and a pioneer in the field of understanding the clinical benefits and training of diabetes alert dogs (DADs). She first became involved in this endeavor as part of a collaboration with the Indiana Canine Assistance Network (ICAN), and the head trainer at the time, Dr. Jennifer Cattet. She has since expanded these collaborations and currently works with multiple trainers to better understand the complex world of DADs. “Sensing dogs for medical alert was something that had not been done at all by Indiana Canine Assistance Network, and Dr. Cattet believed there was a strong need for this type of training. When I attended a talk given by Dr. Cattet and ICAN head Sally Irwin, I instantly wanted to be involved,” Dr. Hardin said during a recent conversation with Beyond Type 1. “So we worked together to talk about, ‘What would a dog do for somebody? How does that work? What do people need?’” While she worked with Dr. Cattet and ICAN to train and place the first successful DAD, who ended up helping a young man with Type 1 finish his graduate program, Dr. Hardin noticed big gaps in medical literature about training dogs to support this very specific population. Case studies could be found here and there, but there were no data-driven reports to rely on. “I wanted to get what I would call real-world evidence of what a dog could do for a person with diabetes: collecting information before a dog is placed with a person with diabetes and collecting data again after the dog is placed with that person. This is a much more scientific way of obtaining information and reporting information. My concern was that you have to have some standard to measure against to know Continue reading >>

How To Train Your Dog To Detect Low Blood Sugar

How To Train Your Dog To Detect Low Blood Sugar

Introduction People with certain health conditions can be subject to low blood sugar episodes, that if not caught and addressed, can result in impaired cognition, making it difficult or impossible for the person affected to treat themselves. This can be very dangerous if the person is alone or asleep and is unaware they are having a low blood sugar episode. While many diabetics have good control over their condition, with a routine of blood sugar monitoring, insulin injections, and careful diet, some people have a great deal of difficulty controlling their diabetes and are frequently subject to low blood sugar episodes that can be life-threatening. Service dogs that are trained to detect low blood sugar episodes almost as soon as they begin and alert their owners to take action to counteract the condition, can be lifesavers. These dogs allow diabetics the ability to be independent, working and living on their own, and provide safety for diabetics when asleep by detecting low blood sugar episodes that could go unnoticed and alerting the diabetic themself and/or another family member. Diabetic service dogs detect low blood sugar by recognizing the scent of low blood sugar on a human's breath or emitted through their pores. Because dogs have such an incredibly sensitive sense of smell, they are able to detect this scent, which is not perceivable to us. Diabetic dogs are then taught several behaviors to help the person with low blood sugar. They alert the person with a nudge, paw or other predetermine signal, they can go get help by alerting another person if the diabetic does not respond, and they can be trained to assist a low blood sugar episode by going to fetch testing materials, a phone, and/or glucose tablets. When out in public or in an environment such as school or Continue reading >>

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