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Dogs were in the headlines recently at Mayo Clinic with the release of the book "Dr. Jack the Helping Dog," which features a 9-year old pincher who is Mayo's first, and only, facility-based service dog.
Also, a new friend of mine, Jean, is the owner of a beautiful English Yellow Labrador named Koda who is a therapy dog. What's the difference between a diabetes therapy dog and a diabetes service dog?
Therapy dogs are trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, mental health facilities, schools, and stressful situations such as disaster areas.
Service dogs are trained for 3 roles:
Diabetes service dogs also provide valuable help. For years, as a diabetes educator, I've heard stories from patients who have pets about how their pet alerted them to impending low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Diabetes service dogs are trained to:
Several programs train diabetes service dogs for individuals with type 1 diabetes, including Dogs4diabetics and Can Do Canine. Both of these service organizations have specific criteria that must be meet before a service dog is placed with someone. Also, dogs are restricted to specific regions or states. If you know of other organizations that provide diabetes service dogs, please let us know.
A person with a diabetes service dog said on the Dogs4Diabetic's Web site:
"The best part for me is that when she helps me, it's non-judgmental."
Everyone have a good week, and please share your story. Signing off for now,
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N.
Peggy Moreland, R.N.
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I have glaucoma and diabetis where can i get a ser
ves dog an what do the cost
Check out www.diabeticalertdogsbyzakk.com or on Facebook- Zakk is a type 1 diabetic training diabetic alert dogs for other diabetics-
I have been researching DADs (Diabetic Assistance Dogs) for weeks. One thing I know is to be sure to do a web search on each training program's name followed by the word "complaint." There are some real hucksters out there. One reared its head in this forum. Do your due diiligence before you sign anything, especially a check. We will eventuallly have one trained for our daughter, but I expect it to take 18 months to train.
Thank you for the article! I just would like to add that Service Dogs in addition to the help they provide which you mentioned in the article, they are also trained for seizure alert, for allergy alert (paprika, even in a very small quantity can actually kill people with a rare medical condition. The city of Indianapolis has been sued for discrimiom. See: http://www.theindychannel.com/news/ex-worker-sues-city-over-service-dog-for-paprika-allergy), medication/ treatment reminders, etc...
I am very glad to see people been more and better educated on this important issue. Thanks!
Many great stories here. I have a lab/pitbull mix who is the sweetest dog. I had recently changed my diet and my regular insulin at night was too much. It was 2 am and I was awoken by Mattie pushing me with her nose. I soon realized I was in big trouble. As I tried to get up I couldn't see anything. My husband was in our living room and I was able to call him for help. My blood sugar was 30. I have never been that low and I might not have woke up without Mattie's assistance. She now goes to bed when I do and when I wake up she is still there.
Sande: What a special dog you have! We guess that your dog has a very keen sense of smell, even from another room. They really are amazing animals! Cats sometimes can tell as well. My (Peggy) cat woke up my son when his blood sugar was very low (43mg/dl).
I have a dog, a cocker spanial found on the streets..about 6 months old..now at 3 years. she will alert and wake me up with my bs is low..she has come from a seperate room at night.jumping on my bed to wake me up as my bs was very low..how did she know from another room..I have seen her smell my breath but those times she comes rushing into my room.i don't know how she does it...wk3ygq
My 2yr old border collie, lab mix has been alerting me when I'm sleeping and my blood sugar drops. Last night was one of those times, I couldn't figure out why she was bothering me when I wanted to sleep...but she kept it up and sure enough when I was more awake I felt the symptoms immediately. My question is..how could I get her qualified to be a service dog so I could take her with me when I travel, or for that matter go anywhere?
My brother is 36, lives in Mexico, has Diabetes Type 1 and received a kidney transplant 6 years ago. During this time he has had a couple of severe hypoglycemic attacks (one of them happened while running some errands and it landed him in jail, policemen thought he was on drugs). I have read about service dogs being able to warn when an attack is coming. Given that the culture of service dogs is not really extended in Mexico we have had a hard time trying to find if one of these dogs would be a good option for my brother. I would to know if, in general terms and taking into account that many other things have to be considered, a service dog is an option for someone who has received an organ transplant. I hope somebody can give me an orienting answer. Thanks.
PawPADS, Pawsitive Perspectives Assistance Dogs located in Savage, MN, also trains Diabetic Service Dogs! Great new program, great people!
My nephew has a four year old Great Dane named Bob. Currently they both live at my house. One evening I was working around the house and the Dane was with me. While I am used to his keepiing tabs on me and anyone else in the house, I noticed on this particular night that he was staying very close to me, and finally when I sat down he was literally "in my face" sniffing very hard and wimpering a bit. No matter what, he wouldn't leave me alone. I finally noticed that I was slightly perspiring around my hairline. I wondered what my blood sugar was and went in to take it. It was 51. Bob stayed right wih me and wouldn't leave me until I had eaten, and my sugar was up to 85. He has "rescued me" once more since then. While he is not trained as a Diabetic Alert Dog, I am 100% sure he understands and wants to help. Needless to say I am very grateful he is so conscientious. I am just beginning insulin therapy for my diabetes and learning the signs of low blood sugar. Thanks to Bob the Great Dane, I am learning very quickly.
Additional information about Diabetic Alert Dogs can be found on Facebook under Diabetic Alert Dogs by Warren Retrievers. "Like" us to receive periodic updates about our DAD program and the successes our clients are experiencing with their Diabetic Aert Dogs.
Thank you for sharing information about Diabetic Alert Service Dogs and their ability to help Type 1 Diabetics manage their blood sugar levels. Diabetic Alert Dogs by Warren Retrievers (www.warrenretrievers.com) has developed a protocol that is not being used by other providers and our clients are seeing tremendous success in the alerting ability of their dogs. All of our dogs are temperament and scent tested to ensure exemplary scent ability and accurate placement based on the individual needs of the client. Training can include (but is not limited to) alerting the diabetic when blood sugar levels fluctuate low or high, bringing test kits or snacks, and alerting family members or calling 911 if the diabetic is unresponsive. All of our dogs must pass a public access test before being certified as working service dogs. Visit the website of our Master Trainer, Dee Bogetti to learn more (www.deethedogtrainer.com) For additional information about obtaining a service dog through Diabetic Alert Dogs by Warren Retrievers, please contact Dan Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I just read the posting from Janet and would like to contact her regarding her toy poodles she is training. I thank you in advance.
I am an elderly widow who lives alone and on a fixed income. I would like to get some information on how to obtain a diabetic service dog. I am a type ll diabetic for about ten years. Any information would be much appreciated. Thank you.
i've been diabetic since i was 22 months old. we have always had a dog in the home. this continues now as i am an adult w/ 2 young children. when i was a little over 30 weeks preg. w/ my first daughter i fell in to a diabetic coma. My 4lb yorkie alerted the neighbors. when they found me the paramedics figured that i had been lying on the floor for hours and had gone into early labor. my sugar was at 11... yes ELEVEN ! i woke up 2 days later with a beautiful little girl, LOTS of questions, and a newfound love for "Daphne." We now call her "mama" as she never gets too far away from my side.
She saved my life, my daughters life and is now one of my biggest heros !
I am a type one diabetic and I do not feel my low blood sugars and have had a couple seizures as a result. I have the sensor but I heard about the diabetic service dogs recently and asked my endrocrinologist and he became very adament that there is no scientific data and it would not work. I am convinced I would like to try. Could anyone recommend a doctor in the sioux falls region I could see that would be open minded...even if I have to go out of state I guess. Thanks.
Paola, If your dog is identified as a service dog, he would be allowed. If you have any questions, please call the concierge's office at 507-538-8438. Thank you.
I was wondering what the Mayo Clinic's policy is regarding a patient with a service dog... I have an appointment this week and have had him with me in the past during hospitalizations, but am uncertain as to the policy at Mayo. Does anyone know?
Here is a website that tells a lot about service dogs:
I am currently breeding and training service dogs for diabetics. They will be ready in fall of 2011. I have 4 puppies now: toy poodles that are hypo allergenic and can do all the tasks except help a person up on their feet. If you are interested in learning more about the service dogs in the U.S.A., there are many websites to help you.
I am working on trying to get a diabetic service dog from servicedogsva.com but they only place dogs with people who live in Virginia.
My daughter is 7 years old and has had diabetes since she was 4. I just recently heard about these dogs and was very excited. We found a trainer through the delta society and started the process of applying for the dog. Our doctor had to fill out some of the paper work. He called us and said that there is no scientific evidence that these dogs can actually detect highs or lows and that they are a waste of money. He said to go to Disney world instead. I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I was to hear this. It is heart breaking. I would like to here from people who actually own a diabetic service dog and don't have anything to gain ether way if we get one or don't. Do these dogs actually work?
My husband and I adopted Moe from the Humane Society in Flint, Michigan. Within a few months, he alerted my husband when my blood sugar was low while I was sleeping.....he did it three times in four months. I rarely have low blood sugar when I sleep, but when I did , he sensed it. He is a wonderful Jack Russell...he truly loves his mom and dad.
My Mother has a diabetic Service Dog. I found her an ID patch for her dogs vest. http://www.workingservicedog.com/Diabetic_Alert_Dog_Patch.aspx
I called the company to see if they had any promotions going on, her dog was in need of some new SD gear and I am on a fixed income.
They couldnt have been nicer, they created a promo code "diabeticsd" for me!!!!!
I wanted to share the wonderful experience I had with a company that cares so much!! Thank you www.workingservicedog.com
Cares Inc. in Kansas provides services dogs that help with diabetes I know that is were I got my service dog Fargo from. And he has been my best friend and a life saver beside helping get me up off the floor when my knees give out from my degenerative arthitis in my left knee. He is a Golden Retriever who is 4 years old, basic training was done by prisoners. I thank God for the program that help them and help me daily.
I have peripheral neuropathy and fibromylagia. My dog isn't a service dog, but she often knows when I am starting a flare or don't feel well even before I do. She will bark and huff at me to go to bed. She's a bossy little 13 lb dog.
'Grace' is my savior in several ways. She is a 70 lb golden retreiver..beautiful. I trained her through books I purchased and participated in local dog obedience class'. I taught her at 4 months to smell my breath and place her paw on my leg. Warnings of lowering blood sugar have changed to barking. She helps pick me up when I fall, detects seizures, and she is theraputic as I am alone quite often. I would recommend a service dog highly!
Service Dog can help with many more disabilities than you have mentioned, i.e. seizures, psychiatric disabilities etc.
I have a dog that started to alert me of low blood sugar at about 4-1/2 months of age. The first time, I didnt understand what was going on until my vision started shutting down & I realized what was happening. Subsequently, he's alerted me & when I tested was way low, in the 50's, so he's been a lifesaver for me.
The program listed in Minnesota do have strict criteria (such as other dogs living in the household) that must be met. I can help people with different and more personal options. A dog they choose for training. Partially trained dogs and even possible training of their own pet. See scentangels.com
My brother's son has a "Service" dog. It seems to me to function like a companion to his son, helping him with his severe autism, and poor vision. The dog hangs out with him. Although the child is aware of his dogs presence they stay at arms length. Is helping with socialization a combined role some of these dogs are now taking on?
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