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Dr Rob Hicks5th July 2010 - We’ve probably all encountered a guide dog with its trademark fluorescent collar and white harness, but dogs are now doing much more. The Diabetes Forum - find support, ask questions and share your experiences with 209,001 people. Hypo alert dogs are specially trained to recognise when their owner has low blood glucose levels, hypoglycemia. Specialist organisations, such as the UK charity Medical Detection Dogs, train dogs to recognise signs of low blood sugar and take action to prevent a medical emergency. A hypo alert dog may be suitable for someone that has impaired hypo awareness, meaning they have significant difficulty in recognising when their blood glucose is dropping to potentially dangerous levels. If the lack of hypo awareness is having a pronounced, negative effect on that person’s quality of life, they may be eligible for a hypo alert dog. Loss of hypo awareness is more likely to develop in people dependent on insulin who have frequent episodes of hypoglycemia.
Dogs are known to have a very keen sense of smell and the dogs are able to pick up on subtle changes of odour to detect low or high blood glucose levels. The dogs are trained to recognise different odours and are rewarded each time they pass a test.
The dogs need to have certain temperament qualities and organisations such as the Medical Detection Dogs charity will need to meet certain criteria.
However, it is possible that a guide dog could also be a hypo alert dog if it passed the necessary training. As hypo alert dogs play an important role in providing medical assistance and are trained to be even tempered, they should be allowed the same flexibility as guide dogs, such as being allowed in places that only accept guide dogs. Find support, ask questions and share your experiences with 209,001 members of the diabetes community. 10 week (free) low-carb education program developed with the help of 20,000 people with T2D and based on the latest research.
The first comprehensive, free and open to all online step-by-step guide to improving hypo awareness.
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Any breed can be affected, but dachshunds, poodles, miniature schnauzers, cairn terriers, and springer spaniels are at increased risk. Interestingly, diabetes is seen very infrequently in Cocker Spaniels, shepherds, collies, and boxers. Despite having spent more years than I can comfortably remember writing about diabetes -and even more years living with the condition- the subject still continues to bring a wealth of new angles to see the condition from. A diabetic alert service dog known as Jedi has become a family hero after recognising a hypo that a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) could not spot. Jedi is a black Labrador retriever that has been trained to recognise low blood sugar levels and alert Dorrie if Luke’s sugar levels are too low. The way some dogs are able to do this is somewhat remarkable: a dog’s nose is very sensitive nose and it requires many hours of training for them to identify and respond to low blood sugar levels. Upon detecting that Luke was low, Jedi initially jumped off the bed, then back on again and laid on top of Dorrie to wake her up.
Putting her trust in Jedi, Dorrie reached for Luke’s testing kit and carried out a blood test. After giving Luke glucose tablets to raise his blood sugar, Dorrie captured the moment on camera, showing Luke resting and Jedi faithfully vigilant by his side.
If it wasn’t for Jedi’s intervention, Luke’s blood sugar could well have dropped further leading to a severe hypo and a medical emergency.
Amputee with type 1 diabetes no longer eligible for Personal Independence Payment, but what is this benefit? In recent years they’ve been trained to sniff out cancers, warn people with diabetes of an oncoming attack, assist disabled people and help children with autism.
Neither the service provider nor the domain owner maintain any relationship with the advertisers. Night-time hypos present a worry for Luke, and his mum Dorrie, because Luke doesn’t wake up when he is has a hypo.


Jedi’s name is therefore quite apt as it is almost as though he uses the force to assess Luke’s sugar levels. In recent years they’ve been trained to sniff out cancers, warn people with diabetes of an oncoming attack, assist disabled people and help children with autism. With their highly developed sense of smell and their ability to be trained, dogs are giving people with special needs greater independence, greater confidence and can even prove to be a life saver.Diabetic Hypo Alert dogsFor people with particularly difficult to control diabetes or low awareness, Hypo Alert dogs can prompt them to check their blood sugar levels and take action before they suffer an attack.
However, according to a recent study, gut worms may actually benefit humans by preventing asthma and other allergies. In case of trademark issues please contact the domain owner directly (contact information can be found in whois).
Even though parasitic worms have been eradicated from most human populations due to better hygiene and food practices, they exist in 2 out of 3 school children in Vietnam, where the study was conducted. Using tablet treatments to rid the body of gut worms, the researchers found that the treated school children developed an increased risk of becoming allergic to house dust mites and cockroaches. Yellow Labrador, Shirley, is one of a new breed of assistance dogs who can alert people with diabetes to potentially life-threatening fluctuations in their blood sugar levels. With that aside, researchers believe they have discovered what makes maggots effective healers of wounds like ulcers and burns. Night times were particularly worrying for Rebecca’s mother, Claire, and she wasn’t sleeping knowing that her daughter could be taken ill during the night without her knowing.
Night times were particularly worrying for Rebecca’s mother, Claire, and she wasn’t sleeping knowing that her daughter could be taken ill during the night without her knowing. According to a new study, maggots secrete a fluid that helps them consume decaying tissue, which is usually a breeding ground for bacteria that prevents proper healing.
Using maggots on wounds (a practice that dates hundreds of years and is commonly known as maggot therapy) provides the underlying tissue a better chance to heal. Now, researchers have developed an enzyme from maggot fluid that could soon be available for patients who need to treat open wounds, specifically via an over-the-counter gel. This allows the person with epilepsy to get to a place of safety - ie, away from traffic, out of the bath, away from stairs - before they have a seizure. As long as this treatment is effective and kept away from the toothpaste aisle, I’ll learn to live with this creepiness.Milk from Mice?
Angela Gregory, Marketing and Fundraising Officer for Support Dogs UK, says it’s not clear what it is the support dog is detecting. Skinner!(Images via: Pop Sci, Flickr, Flickr, Wikimedia)Apparently a classic Simpsons episode, during which it is discovered that the cost-conscious Springfield Elementary School is serving milk from mice to its student population of slack-jawed yokels, is not that far off. Russian researchers have recently produced human breast milk (lactoferrin) from mice, specifically by splicing human genes into their genome.
Lactoferin is rich in proteins and protect babies from viruses and bacteria as their immune systems are still developing. She told the charity: “Ginny will jump up and lick me madly to alert me that I am about to have a seizure. However, it is unlikely that mice will eventually serve as dairy sources of protein-rich milk, given all the work that went into milking the mice. She does the same thing wherever I am; in the street, in the supermarket, or just in the house cooking dinner. It means I can get somewhere more private to avoid the embarrassment and to get to a safe place to avoid injury.”Cancer dogs The first achievement for the charity Cancer and Bio-detection Dogs was in 2004, when it trained dogs to successfully sniff out bladder cancer in human urine samples. Researchers have been spending more time exploring how dogs can sense when their owners are having diabetic attacks following various reports of dogs getting nervous as the insulin levels of their owners dropped. Apparently, dogs can detect the onset of a diabetic attack based on the body odor given off by their owners. The cancer detection dogs work alongside a team of clinicians and scientists, and research is being carried out which will help in the development of a cheap non-invasive and early cancer screening system in the form of an electronic nose. Now some dogs are getting trained as hypo-alert dogs that warn their owners when they need to boost their sugar levels and even fetch them their diabetes kits.
The charity is currently in discussion with hospitals planning work in a variety of cancers, including breast, mouth and prostate. French researchers have recently reported that dogs may be able to sniff out the smell of chemicals released into urine by prostate tumours, setting the stage for a new means of early prostate cancer detection.


More specifically, researchers in Tokyo have been studying shark skin with the goal of developing a high-tech gelatin to coat pills and even add to fatty foods.
A dog owner from Rugby, Warwickshire, was able to receive early treatment for breast cancer after it was diagnosed by her own dog. Of course, a shark skin gelatin would better protect the contents of pills, although it may not have the greatest taste.
Maureen Burns noticed that her collie cross, Max, had started to behave rather oddly around her.
Once lively, Max became withdrawn and would often sniff Maureen’s breath and nudge at her right breast. She went for a mammogram and scan but no tumour was found.Her surgeon took biopsies, as some cancers don’t show up on scans and mammograms. The results of the biopsy confirmed that Maureen had a malignant tumour in her right breast. Maureen said in a press statement, “I really believe that if it wasn’t for Max, things would be very different today. It was his peculiar reaction that alerted me to the fact something was wrong.” After two operations to remove the malignant lump, and a course of radiotherapy, Maureen’s prognosis is excellent but only because Max enabled the cancer to be caught early.
Since Maureen’s treatment, Max no longer sniffs her breath and he even wagged his tail when he sniffed her wound.
Claire Guest from the Cancer and Bio-detection Dogs charity said of Max’s achievement in a press release: “This is of no surprise to us as we have heard of dogs being able to detect melanoma or skin cancer on their owners. Max’s persistence indicates how sensitive dogs are and how much potential there is with the work we are doing.”Autism and dogsAutism assistance dogs are trained to help develop independence and make a child with autism feel more secure. Dogs for the Disabled say a fully-trained autism assistance dog can help change behaviour by introducing routines, reducing bolting behaviour, interrupting repetitive behaviour and helping a child with autism cope with unfamiliar surroundings. While the effects on a child with autism are not fully understood, the charity says the results can be dramatic. A child with autism can become calmer within just a few weeks of commencing their training, anxious and bolting behaviour is reduced, and it appears they are more able to develop communication and other social skills which help with integration. Each dog is trained to work in a special harness that will connect it to both parent and child. The dog is trained to lead from the front, acting on instructions from the parent, while the child is encouraged to walk alongside the dog using a lead attached to the dog. This offers greater independence to the child and parent, whilst ensuring the child is safe and unable to bolt if they become stressed or anxious.
Bolting behaviour is also combated by training the assistance dog to automatically sit should they sense the child attempting to run off. Angela Gregory of Support Dogs UK, which also provides dogs for children with autism, says the support dog can change people’s perceptions and when they see the dog they make allowances for the child’s behaviour.
Disability dogs can be trained, amongst other things, to pick up crutches, empty washing machines, pick up the post or switch on lights.
They can also increase confidence and social interaction as people often find it easier to engage with animals.Hearing DogsNearly nine million of the UK population experience some degree of hearing loss.
According to the charity, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, over 650,000 could benefit from a hearing dog. Hearing dogs are trained to respond to specific sounds which hearing people often take for granted, such as the alarm clock, doorbell, a baby cry, the telephone or a smoke alarm. Instead of barking, the dogs alert the deaf person by touch, using a paw to gain attention, and then lead them back to the sound source. For sounds such as the smoke alarm and fire alarm, the dogs will lie down to indicate danger.Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is the only organisation in the UK training dogs to help deaf people and is the largest organisation in the world training hearing dogs. Their job is to form a strong, unique partnership with the blind or partially sighted person whose job is to direct the dog.
Most guide dogs are Labradors and retrievers - or crosses between those two breeds.However, even a mongrel can provide health benefits.



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