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:
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