Hypoglycemia Alert Dogs Save Lives
Assistance dogs notify their companions of dangerously low glucose levels.
Posted: March 18, 2008, 5 a.m. EST
Diabetes Forecast, the consumer magazine of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), recently featured an article about assistance dogs who are trained to sense human hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose, and sound an alert. The dogs are able to sense a dangerous drop in blood glucose before it begins, giving the people an opportunity to prevent an episode from occurring.
“Clients are coming back saying, ‘I have never had better control of my blood sugar in my life as I have since I got this dog,’” says Mark Ruefenacht, a forensic scientist and the creator of a hypoglycemia dog alert training center in Calif. Although scientists are still unsure as to how the dogs can detect changes in their human companions, it is believed that they are reacting to a scent created by chemical changes related to glucose imbalance.
Regardless of the uncertainty, these alert dogs are providing a great sense of relief to adults and children whose history of hypoglycemic episodes made it difficult to lead a normal life.
For more information, visit the ADA at www.diabetes.org
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