I had written a blog last year in January 2009 about a wonderful organisation that takes seeing eye dogs from 4 months to 1 year – and retrains them to provide medical alert assistance to Type 1 diabetics (Dogs4Diabetes or D4D).
This came across my desktop the other day about a 7-year-old Cardigan Welsh Corgi who goes by the name of King Tut who can tell when his owner (Marilyn Pharo) ketones are going low. He's saved his owner a few times when she's had low blood sugars (hypos).
I still can't get over how sensitive dogs are to smell (I thought I had a good sniffer myself). To be able to smell the difference in the ketones that admit from the body is incredible! I wonder if cats can sense the same thing? Mine have never tried to pry my eyeballs open when I'm having a low at night (they only do this for food at 6:00 a.m. aka Garfield style).
Animal Planet is going to be filming Marilyn and her trusty King Tut at their home in Cape May, New Jersey this month and their episode will air sometime in the Fall. So check back at this link - Dogs 101 to see when it will play (I know I want to see this).
To read the rest of this wonderful story - go to this link (or paste the link in a new browser - http://www.14wfie.com/global/story.asp?s=12534920 ).
I wish my husband would let me get a dog ....
By: : Jun, 07, 2010 15:02 PM
I've heard about quite a few cases of both cats and dogs that notify their diabetic owners of changes in blood glucose. Animals have such sensitive nose they can smell a low by the adrenaline released to make bloodsugar go back up, or the increased sweating. It is something with the chemical balance anyways. There's even a dog in Sweden who's been on the news about this, a dog who started to notify his owner of lows and then got trained to go pick up bottles of juice when his owner got low, or refusing to go outside before an oncoming low had been treated.
My cousin has a dog who works in a similar way though my cousin is not diabetic but a chronic pain patient who may faint from pain. Her dog can mark that she should sit or lay down if he sense she may be passing out soon. He can also help her up if she falls or go get help if needed. And again, it's something chemical happening in her body before a possible pass out.
But pay attention to your cats, do they seem restless or completely normal when you're having a low?
Had to write this on here as Twitter doesn't allow long enough messages :D
By: FatCatAnna: Jun, 07, 2010 14:23 PM
LOL AmariT - I have a feeling King Tu is one persistant dog. Just like one of my cats when they want food - she hops all over me like I'm a bouncing board - and being the slave I am to her - I get up. Actually, come to think of it, sometimes that has been a blessing, because as I get up, I realise maybe I should test my BG as I feel abit low, and I am. So maybe, she is part-sniffer ketone cat?
Also, remember, there are some people who are hypo unaware. Maybe you and I are one of the lucky ones that can tell when we are going low. Tho' lately, due to this MDI insulin regime I've been on since April (finish up in July at next A1C/endo appointment) - I seem to be experiencing daily lows. There's been a few times I have slept thru' them - and that's very rare for me. Never did that with the insulin pump, sleeping thru' them, but then, I rarely had low BG's. This is one of the reasons I went onto pump, was due to experiencing too many low blood sugars. Not condusive to being a member of the work force as you try to function in semi-comotose (aka like a drunk) state!
By: AmariT: Jun, 07, 2010 10:27 AM
That's amazing! Of course, I probably would have just pushed him off and rolled over to go back to sleep.
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