According to a recent research best trained alert dogs have the potential to detect fluctuation in blood glucose.
University of Bristol in collaboration with Medical Detection Dogs has concluded a new research which states that the best trained alert dogs have the potential to vastly improve the quality of life of people living with Type 1 diabetes. As per the report published in Science Daily, on average, trained dogs alerted their owners to 83 per cent of hypoglycemic episodes in over 4,000 hypo- and hyper-glycaemic episodes that were examined. A hypoglycemic episode is a condition where blood sugar drops dangerously low and if left untreated, can lead to unconsciousness or even death.
The findings confirm that alert dogs can help Type 1 patients regulate their blood sugars in a non-invasive way and avoid the risks of hypoglycemic episodes and hyperglycemia.
Lead author Dr Nicola Rooney from the Bristol Veterinary School, said: “We already know from previous studies that patients’ quality of life is vastly improved by having a medical detection dog. However, to date, evidence has come from small scale studies. Our study provides the first large-scale evaluation of using medical detection dogs to detect hypoglycemia.”
In this study, researchers from Bristol, assessed the reliability of 27 trained glycaemia alert dogs, whose owners provided six to 12 weeks continual worth of blood records detailing every time the dog was alerted.
Medical Detection Dogs respond to the odor of human disease and help owners live with life-threatening diseases. Familiar with their owners, dogs are conditioned to respond with alerting behaviors when their owners’ blood sugar levels fall outside a target range.
Encouraged by the alerting behavior of their pet dog, if such out-of-range (OOR) episodes occur, the patient can take appropriate action, usually by administering insulin or eating to retain the right glucose levels.
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