Commend Program that Trains Dogs to Aid Diabetics


Target: Dr. Nicola Rooney, lead author of Investigation into the Value of Trained Glycaemia Alert Dogs to Clients with Type I Diabetes

Goal: Commend program that specially trains dogs to alert diabetics of changing blood sugar levels

In a recent project, seventeen dogs have undergone special training to detect signs of changing levels in their owners’ blood sugar. These glycaemia alert dogs have proven for the first time that dogs can serve as effective early-warning systems for people with diabetes. Please applaud this scientific breakthrough that could result in significant improvements in the treatment of diabetes.

These dogs’ sharp sense of smell enabled them to detect chemical changes in their owners’ breath or sweat. The dogs were also able to warn their owners of impending low blood sugars, which works to help decrease the chances of unconscious episodes, the need for paramedic intervention, and increases the individual’s sense of independence. Dr. Nicola Rooney of the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Sciences headed this academic study and says, “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.” Owners also reported that the alert dogs were able to detect blood sugar levels as they were dropping, showing that the capabilities of these dogs are much more advanced than previously thought.

Instead of costly electronic instruments that measure a patient’s glycaemic levels, people now have the alternative of a canine companion trained to do the very same job. Please commend this project and its mutual benefits to both dogs and their owners.


Dear Dr. Nicola Rooney,

I commend your study, Investigation into the Value of Trained Glycaemia Alert Dogs to Clients with Type I Diabetes, with the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Sciences and the Company of Animals, and the discovery that dogs can act as effective glycaemia alert dogs. This academic study is the first of its kind to accomplish the breakthrough finding that dogs’ acute sense of smell can be trained to detect changes in their owners’ blood sugar levels through breath and sweat. Thanks to this research, people with diabetes may now have an alternative to expensive electronic devices for glycaemic control.

Not only did this project give dogs donated to the Medical Detection Dogs charity homes, but it also resulted in positive effects on patients such as improved independence, reduction of unconscious episodes, and decreased paramedic interventions. The dogs were also observed to detect changes in glycaemic levels even before they hit low points, but as they were falling, indicating that the effectiveness of these alert dogs goes beyond what was previously thought.

Hopefully the use of glycaemic alert dogs will be expanded to more patients dealing with diabetes. Please continue your research that can ultimately yield life saving consequences for both canine and owner.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Crjs452 via Wikimedia Commons

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