They are called diabetic “alert dogs”. Training centers, mainly focus on the retriever breed, to teach sniffing for odors of both low and high blood sugar. Then, dog is taught to notify someone of the pending condition via a doggie nudge nasally, ringing a bell or pushing a buzzer. Cost of purchasing this type of pet is up to $20,000. Non-profit training centers do exist that offer these amazing animals free of charge.
It is so fascinating that something is being secreted by our body that is below our threshold of odoriferous recognition. Also, that diagnostic doggie can sense and then act on that sense. Currently, the medical world has no idea what notifier chemical is being secreted from the body of a Type 1 diabetic patient. We have glucose monitoring devices found in homes, doctor’s offices and hospitals that will give you a numerical value for current body glucose. This problem is you have to know when to test. Testing takes time. In the case of significantly abnormal blood sugar, you have very little time.
This canine is the key to developing a diagnostic consumer tool that we can use to alert us of dangerous sugar levels. These same animals can also be trained to sniff out certain cancers and on-coming seizures. They are living Star Trek Tricorders!
Type 1 diabetics ultimately develop a complete absence of insulin production. It is a condition where too high or low blood sugar can create an emergency situation. From 2011 data, the incidence of this type of diabetes estimates could be close to 3 million people in the US. The incidence of this disease continues to rapidly increase throughout our country.
Got My Eyes On You, And My Nose!!!