Diabetes-detection dogs help patients avoid serious blood sugar crashes, first large trial finds

Archie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just after his first birthday and teamed up with detection dog Domino Dogs trained to sniff out life-threatening blood sugar crashes in people with type 1 diabetes have been shown to effectively spot the condition, which can render patients unconscious, in the first large-scale trial of its type.

The University of Bristol research found medical detection dogs were able to spot 83 per cent of more than 4,000 episodes of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar), minimising the risk of harmful health complications.

They can be particularly effective in monitoring patients who might have unexpectedly low glucose levels at night or for young people who are less able to keep track of their blood sugar with a conventional device.

This was the case for Archie, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just after his first birthday and, after years of night-time hypoglycaemic attacks, was paired with two-year-old Labrador Domino, by charity Medical Detection Dogs (MDD).

“Before Domino we were in a void, we never knew where to turn, we were unsettled,” Archie’s mum Jayne said. ”He has brought sunshine into our lives – he is the last piece of the jigsaw. Now we are sleeping more, relaxing and feeling like a whole family.” Sniffer dogs ‘able to detect malaria in people by smelling socks’

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While Archie has a carer at school to check his blood sugar, Domino takes over the role at night and is his constant companion when the family are out, providing more than 1,300 alerts since arriving in 2015.“He is my best buddy and he helps me feel safe,” Archie says. ”If I’m not well he’ll tell mummy […]

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