Friday, June 13, 2014

Our diabetic alert dog is like a psychic meter; definitely not his pancreas.

If you expect a diabetic alert dog to be an organ, you're not getting it. I expect readers here to at least realize that much...a diabetic alert dog is a TOOL for your health, not a replacement.

Most of us expect the technology to rule above all else (common sense)...even the dog.

Dogs are reliable. They are sensitive, and alert-capable once trained. They WILL miss alerts, but over-all, I've come to find that the RIGHT dog, will not miss less than 85-95% of blood sugar out of range moments...

In my humble opinion, I think that how we train these dogs, and what we are looking for, MATTERS.

My son's trainer is married. Her partner is not diabetic, but suffers a pancreatic disorder that causes her to suffer low blood sugar moments; therefore, our D.A.D (diabetic alert dog) has "real time" moments in the home he is training at.

The trainer and I had a significant conversation recently. It included the fact that most DAD trainers don't reward until under 80. Even dogs I/we know of that aren't "rewarded" until under 80, are clearly stir-crazy until...

Diabetes doesn't "self-correct." So we must consider, in all logic, that since dogs are NOT truly hypoglycemic aware, and ONLY alert to the "x-factor", (thank you Debby Kay), that is within the rise and fall of normal range; THAT is where the reward should never fail and keep on!

It wasn't until our fourth visit or so, that it hit me. My son's DAD alerted ME to a low B.S. (blood sugar) of 58. I am not diabetic, but I suffer hypoglycemia. I have a meter, just like my son. So I took my BS 5-6 times as if it were a pregnancy test; I couldn't believe it! One out of the 6 times I checked was completely messed up. It put me in range though I wasn't.

Sometimes when my son tests significantly out of range, we have him test AGAIN. And I recently calibrated our son's meter (with liquid given with the technology to help it perform accurately).

Overall, I believe his D.A.D is his "natural" meter. This little guy FLINT knows the FALL, not the number. He knows when Sean is going lower and declining, which is what matters to us.

Sean can't play rugby under 130 and "Flint," his D.A.D, alerts under 100. Some of the best DAD's we've trained with and from other organizations, alert under the "100" number. There's something to it...

How do you feel about all this? Comment below!

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