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Thread: Diabetic Detecting Super Dogs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Aust.
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    148

    Default Diabetic Detecting Super Dogs

    Hey Pooch Loving Folk and Those Diabetics on the Site,

    I thought this information might be interesting to you. See what you think - I'd love to get your opinions on the use of pooches to assist diabetics in alerting them to 'hypos'. Hypo is basically just a shortening of the word Hypoglycemia (meaning low blood sugar). Here's a quick blurb:
    ----------------------------
    Hypo alerters
    It is an accepted fact that certain dogs have the sensory ability to pick up signs of a person’s approaching hypo well before the usual symptoms appear.
    In 2000, the British Medical Journal reported that some dogs become agitated when their owner is suffering a hypoglycaemic episode. Dr Alan Stocks, a research consultant at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, has been studying this.

    “I questioned my own patients and 106 said their dog had been present during a hypoglycaemic episode, and 67 of those patients – about two-thirds – said their dog had reacted,” says Dr Stocks.

    “Their pet became agitated, restless, ran around in small circles, nudged or licked them, barked, growled or ran to fetch someone else.”

    Dr Stocks believes that dogs sense an odour in sweat when people become hypoglycaemic. Sleep time is a particular risk as it’s then that many people with diabetes fail to register symptoms of low blood glucose levels (BGL) and may become comatose. Dr Stocks believes if we can identify the chemical compound in that odour, it could be used to train more dogs.

    “Dogs could become a warning system,” he says. There is some evidence that cats may have similar detection abilities.

    An Australian organisation, Paws for Diabetics Inc (PAWS for Diabetics Inc) now operates a breeding and training program for hypo hounds.

    They help owners train the puppies to identify signs of high and low BGLs. “Almost all dogs will become alert so long as they bond closely with their owners,“ says New South Wales’ Paws for Diabetics spokesperson Gail Armstrong. “We have had only two failures out of 35 dogs.”
    -----------------------------
    Here's a link to PAWS for Diabetics which is an organisation which trains and places dogs to Diabetics. They also have a program for training individuals who wish to use their own dogs in diabetic related alert work.

    PAWS for Diabetics Inc

    Interested to know your thoughts. Also thought it might be a bit of a different kinda thread to make.

    Catch ya in the posts,

    SH, Lola n Zep

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Aust.
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    Default

    Ok I've given you guys a week ... surely someone out there is diabetic or at least knows one? Curious about whether you think there's some validity to this type of role for a pooch?

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi SH

    yep i know of 1 diabetic, that scumbag person isn't worth saving imo.

    Now as for use of specially trained dogs to detect a hypo & hopefully save a life of a well deserving human, than i'm all for it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Aust.
    Posts
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    Default

    Hey AF,
    Thanks for responding .. sorry about your scumbag mate. Cool to hear your opinion though. I guess because the subject matter is not about BYB and APBT's then it's not worthy of talking about at the moment.
    Hope you and Floydy are great .. pats and hugs for the man!

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Harmony View Post
    Hey AF,
    Thanks for responding .. sorry about your scumbag mate. Cool to hear your opinion though. I guess because the subject matter is not about BYB and APBT's then it's not worthy of talking about at the moment.
    Hope you and Floydy are great .. pats and hugs for the man!

    Hey SH,

    aww your welcome, all is beaut with Floydy & I, we just not long ago got out of the pool, its been a nice warm 32c in my neck of the woods, so cant wait for summer

    Hope all is beaut with you Lola & Zep

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Aust.
    Posts
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    Default

    Hey AF, thanks for taking the time to write back. I know a few diabetics and was hoping to get some insight from some of the folk here about anything they had heard or what they felt about training issues in this field .. many people have a lot of experience in relation to training and I was hoping to get some feedback. As always, pats for the Floydmeister.

  7. #7

    Default

    My son has a dog from Paws for Diabetics Inc. The change in our house has been amazing. As a mother i have less stress, better sleep. For my son he has a mate and a early warning system for his hypo's. to me and many others that a have a dog we believe they save our lives every time they alert. The dogs do not mean that we do less checking of sugar levels or rely totally on the dog, the dog becomes another tool to help manage thier diabetes. Paws for Diabetics Inc dog help diabetics just like a guide dog or hearing dog does. So do have a look at the sight and maybe you might like to leave a donation.

  8. #8

    Wink

    I have had type 1 diabetes since 7 months of age, and am now 37.
    I have suffered hypo unawareness for close to 6 years now, and the severity of such a condition is life threatening. I would average one coma situation a month.
    For the past year and a half, I have had a Paws for Diabetics assistance dog, and since having her, I have not had one coma situation, let alone any really bad lows.
    Without her, I wouldn't have the quality of life I now have, and I fully endorse Paws for Diabetics, and any other assistance dogs out there.
    These life savers are absolutely incredible, just ask anyone who knows me and sees my girl in action.
    Please, visit our website and make up your own minds: pfd.org.au

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Aust.
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    Default

    Hi Guys,

    Really great to hear your stories and particularly your success and praise for the Paws for Diabetics program. Very inspiring. I can understand and appreciate the challenges relating to Diabetic management and certainly the severity and danger of 'unexpected hypos'. I have a great deal of respect for Dr Stocks who 'I believe' was first to explore the use of dogs in reacting to hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar in humans. I know Dr Stocks and he's a passionate advocate for Diabetes care in Australia - as well as being Diabetic himself.

    My dog Lola seems to have some potential perhaps in terms of the Paws Program. Actually both her and my other Pooch Zep both react when a hypo situation occurs. I realise this could just be 'instinct' but it definitely seems to back up the possibility that many dogs do have that ability to react to changes in a human's body. I know that Paws was looking at a training program for owners to enhance the skills of their own dog in this regard - but don't think it's up and running yet?

    Anyways, thanks again for writing back and sharing the good news stories. Good health and happy days with your cool paws pooches.

    SH, Lola n Zep

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Queensland. Australia
    Posts
    827

    Default

    Some epilepsy sufferers also have companion dogs who alert them or a carer when a
    seizure is going to happen.

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