Can a dog really sense diabetes?
I realize it's a popular contention that some dogs are able to detect low blood sugar by smelling something about a person and signal when that person is about to have a diabetic episode of some sort. I'm well aware that dogs have very good senses of smell. Nevertheless, this strikes me as somewhere between "improbable" and "dubious," because the change in someone's breath or sweat caused by low blood sugar seems as though it would be similar to all sorts of other ordinary, non-diabetic bodily fluctuations that occur throughout the course of a day.
It also strikes me as improbable that someone's own pet who happens to be an adorable and lovable dog would just happen to possess this ability. And they way the animal is supposed to signal the onset of a diabetic attack is usually to lick and kiss the human, which is similar to how the animal would behave if it were requesting food or treats or attention the way an ordinary household pet would.
But if there's some actual evidence of this out there, my mind could be changed. Show me the evidence, change my mind!
One additional item that dog's sense is a dying person and a dead person. If it's at all possible the dog should be allowed to sniff their dead owner. Otherwise, the dog may not know his/her owner is dead.
Trained tracker/rescue dogs often get depressed if they find too many bodies in a short period. These dogs sometimes need to be removed from search and rescue operations to give them time to recollect themselves.
I was a caregiver and I got a client who had diabetes. To my surprise she had a poodle, it was her personal dog that was by her side that could detect her drop in sugar level. This dog was specifically trained for this. I believe any dog can be trained to recognize and detect a certain disease or any inbalance in a persons body. I had a mixed dog 3 yrs ago he was nothing special never trained for anything except to do tricks for treats. He would lay on my lap and want me to pet him. For 6 months he constantly smelled my one breast. I ignored this thinking it was food he was smelling. It wasn't food, I finally got a mammogram and I had a large lump inside. He passed away after I got better, he too had cancer. So you see I do believe these dogs have way more to offer us than you can every imagine.
There are people selling these dogs to kids with t1. Pretty sure they can be trained. Just not exactly sure how they train them to do it. They are also super expensive. It was 60 to 80 grand for a fully trained one. Way to pricey for my ability to pay. Considered trying to teach my dog at one point.
I'm a type 1 diabetic. When I was first diagnosed, more so first found out about a preexisting ailment, I had a lot of dizzy spells and I would pass out. My dog would always hover around around me and lick my face until I came to. I never understood the validity of his actions until I did some research. Turns out, I guess they do have a sense for that, at least to some extent.
Um..use google search and you'll find pages of documentation.
Not only dogs can detect physical problems and seizures, but many other pets as well, including parakeets, who fly into their owner's faces and try to get them to lie down, minutes before they have a seizure.
While low blood sugar is a problem, isn't sugar that is too high the bigger problem?