»  Community
 »  Blogs
Anna's Blog

D4D dogs that can smell a low blood sugar

Anna's Blog
By: FatCatAnna

The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes! Whoo! Whoo!

I am a Type 1 diabetic diagnosed back in the early 60's as a child.  I am living in Montreal, Canada and enjoy scribbling about diabetes from time to time. I’ve had my ups / downs just like any person would experience with going through life - diabetic or not.  My motto in life?  Diabetes does not control me – I control it!! 

You can find more posts/discussions at my Facebook page called "The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes" and also on Twitter under the name of FatCatAnna.  Feel free to follow me at both places or send me a private message!

<< January 2009 >>
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

 Blog Entries
The joys of having Bowie my CGMS – Chapter 1 - Sep 02
 Okay, for those of you who have never read my #dblogs before, I give names to all my little gizmos that I use for controlling my diabetes.  What we have today, ...
In a slump and scared - Jul 21
It’s rare for me to compose a #dblog that is not all “chirpy chirpy” … I think the last time I did one that was kind of down was at Diabetes1.org ...
Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes - Mar 27
  " To the best of my knowledge, I am the only diabetic who survived years of imprisonment in German concentration camps. This is my story "   The above words ...
Sugar and Your Health - Mar 06
The other day I emptied out a 4 kg (about 10 lbs) of white sugar that I had dated a year ago when I opened it.  I use white sugar purely for cooking (I make my own ...
Eating from the ground - Yuca Fries - Feb 20
I am home now from a working holiday, in the Bahamas and Miami.  Despite the weather being abit cooler then normal (they only get 2 weeks of winter - we were there in ...
Posted: Jan 15, 2009 22:21
  • 1 Comment.
  • D4D dogs that can smell a low blood sugar

    I came across an interesting website today called Dogs4diabetes (D4D).  It is an organisation that takes seeing eye dogs from 4 months to 1 year – and retrains them to provide medical alert assistance to Type 1 diabetics.  


    In order for the dog to inform the diabetic that it is having a hypo – they are trained to pick up off their collar a device called a bringsel.  It is a search and rescue tool that was modified for hypoglycemia-alerting.  Basically, when the dogs smell that low blood sugar, they pick up the bringsel to get their owners attention.  In order for the dog to inform the diabetic that it is having a hypo , they used to use a physical alert, like a jump, to indicate the alert, but they realized that the dogs really needed a more obvious "You are low, you need juice now" type of alert.  This is a completely trained behavior, rather than a "natural" canine behavior that the trainers are using. 


    They also wanted to develop a safer method of alerting, since not everyone wants a 65 pound dog jumping on them (particularly if their blood sugar is low!).  Instead, the dog picks up the bringsel, gets the attention of the diabetic (some dogs paw at their owners, others whine, others do a small half jump, etc.), and the diabetic can check his or her BG and get some sugar for themselves and a treat for their dog without being scratched or otherwise encumbered by a jumping dog.  It has really proven very effective--and has radically changed the training of these dogs in a very positive way.  This type of alert is more obvious to the handler, and is less obtrusive when out in public so you won't stick out like a sore thumb.


    In order to qualify, the diabetic must be at least 12 years old, and have been diagnosed and on insulin therapy for at least one year.  Unfortunately at this time they are limited to serving Northern California, but they hope to begin expanding their program to serve the Western United States in the coming years.  In the long term, it is their goal to serve diabetics nationwide and possibly Canada.

    Though it costs roughly $25,000 to train each dog, they are committed to placing dogs with diabetics at no cost for the dog.  The only fees involved in participating in our program are an application and material fee, currently totaling to $125.

    If you are wondering like I was about how long it takes to get one of these D4D dogs, it's about 1 to 1 ½ years, which can vary with the availability of dogs and funding which is understandable.



    Below is their website if you are interested in finding out more or donating ( includes a video as well ) -http://www.dogs4diabetics.com/aboutus/aboutus.html

    Comments (1):
    Sort By
  • Add Comment

  • By: dorisjdickson: Jan, 15, 2009 20:49 PM

    I have a friend who desperately needs assistance of this nature.  She's been relying on her semi-effective cat for this job for several years.  He scratches the crap out of her til she wakes up.  Or he follows her around and she eventually realizes, oops Tigger is following me. 

    She is not aware of her low blood sugar due to a variety of reasons, including constant yo-yoing, various pain medications and my favorite stupidity for diabetics - beta blockers.  The other problem, she tends to rely on the only symptom of shaking.  I haven't done the shaking thing in years (for low blood sugar anyway).  And since the shaking thing is stopped by beta-blockers, well, she's a problem waiting to happen.

    I hope there is program of this nature she'll be able to participate in.  It would seemingly be very beneficial for someone in her position.  (She's also in lots of pain and disabled from it.)

    Thanks for the info.


    D4D (1) BG (1) hypo (1) seeing eye dogs (1)

    Related posts:

    The Brain Battle  |  It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year ... NOT!  |  Revina Garcia: Diabetic Handcuffed, Dumped On Pavement By Police  |  Riding thru' the mountains of the Adirondacks  |  My Porky Pig fingers are tired  |  King Tut and his diabetic owner Marilyn Pharo  |  My shocking endo appointment  |  A birthday treat gone evil ...  |  Diabetes Awareness Month Photo-A-Day - Day 2 - CHECK  |  How to describe having a hypo to a non-PWD!
  • Previous Blog Post
  • Next Blog Post
  • Your Treat Medication Part 9
    Is Glucagon Right For You?-Treatment Plan: Diabetes Medications
    More about avoiding hypoglycemia; about glucagon (a treatment for if you ...
    more more Featured Videos
    Cost Savings Tool
    Do you know the annual cost of managing your diabetes? Would you like to find ways to reduce your costs? Calculate your total budget and identify ways to save money. You can do this in just a few minutes by entering facts about the products you use. This quick analysis will provide you with a comprehensive overview of both spending and potential savings.

    Cost Savings Tool
    Monitor Comparison Tools
    Blood glucose monitors offer an easy way to test your blood sugar at home or on the go. Use this comparison tool as a guide to learn more about the features and benefits of your current monitor or to find a new one.
    Handheld Monitor Comparison
    Continuous Glucose Monitor Comparison
    Advanced BMI Calculator
    Ever wonder if you are at a healthy weight? Then enter your height and weight in our advanced Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator. This tool provides you with two important numbers reflecting the estimated impact of your present body weight and shape upon your overall health.
    Advanced BMI Calculator
    more Care Tools
    Home | About Us | Press | Make a Suggestion | Content Syndication | Terms of Service | Editorial Policy | Privacy Policy
    Last updated: May 16, 2022  © 2022 Body1 All rights reserved.