Dogs continue to prove their invaluable ability to assist us by being trained to become Medical Detection Dogs. Researchers at the University of Bristol found that dogs are able to detect subtle changes in the breath or the sweat of the owner linked to abnormal blood-glucose levels. The dogs also referred to as ‘Hypo Alert Dogs’, are proving invaluable in the management of diabetes for sufferers who have difficulty in managing their blood-glucose levels.
Dogs have an exceptional ability to detect different scents and in the case of the ‘Hypo Alert Dog’ it is able to identify the subtle changes in a human’s odour that indicate low or high blood-glucose levels.
Dogs that are carefully selected to perform this role are specially trained to warn their owner, retrieve testing kits, or press special alarms designed to notify their owner of the impending situation.
Nicola Rooney a research fellow at the Bristol School of Veterinary Sciences said; “These findings are important as they show the value of trained dogs and demonstrate that glycaemia alert dogs placed with clients living with diabetes, afford significant improvements to owner well-being including increased glycaemic control, client independence and quality-of-life and potentially could reduce the costs of long-term health care.”
The domestic dog is an exceptionally talented animal capable of many roles and throughout the world they assist us and help us save lives in many ways. It is amazing to see dogs being utilised to their true potential and given a role to perform alongside their human caretakers. A dog that is given a role in life is more often than not a happy and fulfilled dog.