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Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:20 PM

Service Dogs Pick Up Scent of Diabetes Danger

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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.

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Most of the interest in diabetic-alert dogs comes from people with Type 1 diabetes—and parents of children with Type 1—because they are more susceptible than people with Type 2 diabetes to serious problems of low blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease characterized by the absence of insulin production, and requires daily insulin injections. People with Type 2, which is brought on by a combination of genetics, inactivity and obesity, have trouble processing insulin but don't necessarily require external insulin.

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Diabetics can use technologies such as continuous glucose monitors to help prevent these episodes, but these don't record blood-sugar drops until after they happen. So hypoglycemic-alert dogs can be lifesavers, says Dr. Hardin, who presented the first scientific research on the dogs at this year's annual American Diabetes Association conference in Philadelphia.. A fully trained diabetic-alert dog can cost as much as $20,000. Many families conduct fundraisers to afford them. Nonprofit training centers offer dogs free of charge, or ask for a nominal fee, but the waiting lists are long.

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324001104578163423121970336.html


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Reply Service Dogs Pick Up Scent of Diabetes Danger (Original post)
question everything Dec 2012 OP
Chemisse Dec 2012 #1
question everything Dec 2012 #2
hlthe2b Dec 2012 #3

Response to question everything (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:42 PM

1. My son knows quickly when he is getting low, and will wake up at night when it happens.

But that ability can be lost over time. These dogs can save lives.

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Response to Chemisse (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:07 PM

2. Good for your son. Wishing him long and healthy life

Diabetes is a life-long management so it is good that he has the tools to handle any obstacles.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:27 PM

3. WO(man)'s best friend, indeed



I never cease to be amazed at how much these loving beings can add to our lives.

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