April 11, 2008

Diabetes Detecting Dogs

I was awakened this morning by my sweet kitty Miles who pounced on my stomach and meowed in my face. I looked at the clock and sure enough, I was late. Somehow I'd turned off my alarm in my sleep (I really dislike my alarm).

As I sat up in bed to do the first thing I do every morning - test my blood sugar - I remembered a news story I heard a year or so ago about dogs that are trained to smell low blood sugar. For a split second I thought, hey, maybe Miles pounced because I'm low. Wouldn't that be exciting! But, alas, it was 130.

This rude awakening made me wonder about how the Diabetes detecting dogs are doing these days. It would be pretty amazing to have a pet who could tell when things were wrong and warn you. Especially for all the Diabetics out there who just don't feel the lows coming on.

Turns out the timing couldn't have been better for Miles to remind me of this cool concept. Diabetes Forecast magazine published an article on it last month that I somehow missed (Read it here!). There are a few organizations out there training dogs to specialize in Diabetes, and an article on the subject if you'd like to find out more:
- Dogs 4 Diabetics
- All Purpose Canines
- Canine Partners for Life
- British Research Article

I'm currently trying to work out getting on a Continuous Glucose Monitor, which will give me warnings when my blood sugar is low. So getting a Diabetes detecting dog may not be the right way for me to go (and I'm sure Miles wouldn't appreciate it). But it might be right for you, especially if you have young children with Diabetes. It's great to know that man's best friend could really save your life!

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