Diabetes Alert Dogs
In the past several years, some families have reported that their dog has been able to sense an impending low blood sugar in a child and alerts the family in time to help. Several CWD families have diabetes alert dogs, and they offer very positive comments on their experiences. Others, however, have reported horrible experiences with both the dog and the organization that provided the dog.
Training a dog for a purpose like this can be very expensive. Many families report costs in the tens of thousands of dollars, the equivalent of years of cash paying for a continuous glucose monitoring system.
One study, cited below, found that diabetes alert dogs did very poorly in alerting to a hypoglycemia scent challenge. A poster at the 2013 Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association showed mixed results, but no dog achieved the performance of today's continuous glucose monitoring systems.
Review Before You Consider a Diabetes Alert Dog
- Diabetes Alert Dogs Don’t Detect Hypoglycemic Scent.
- Can Trained Dogs Detect a Hypoglycemic Scent in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes?
- Can Diabetes Alert Dogs Truly Detect Hypoglycemia? (ADA Scientific Sessions Poster)
- International Association of Assistance Dog Partners Minimum Training Standards for Public Access.
- Diabetes Alert Dog (DAD) Pre-Purchase Suggestions and Questions.
- Sniffing Out the D-Alert Dog Experience.
- Nixon lawsuit against St. Elizabeth dog trainer alleges that diabetic alert service dogs were not properly trained. See also State of Missouri, ex rel. vs. Heaven Scent Paws, Inc.. (June 2008)
August 12, 2013
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