Trained Dogs Can Help Diabetes Patients Manage Insulin Levels

Trained medical dogs are able to drastically improve the quality of life of owners livings with Type 1 diabetes, finds a study from the University of Bristol and Medical Detection Dogs.

Published in PLOS One, the research finds that on average trained dogs alerted their owners to 83 percent of hypoglycaemic episodes in over 4,000 hypo- and hyper-glycaemic episodes that they studied. A hypoglycaemic episode occurs when a patient’s blood sugar drops dangerously low and if left untreated, can lead to unconsciousness or even death.

According to the lead author, Dr. Nicola Rooney, the study provides the first large-scale evaluation of using medical detection dogs to detect hypoglycaemia. Dr. Rooney says that dogs used for detecting insulin levels should be trained, matched and monitored by professional organizations.