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Dogs for Diabetes, anyone?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by destea1, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. destea1

    destea1 Approved members

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    Just curious if anyone here has (or has considered) having one of the diabetic aid dogs. My mother in law has raised guide dogs for the blind for 30 some-odd years and she's familiar with people in the group who raise these dogs. As I understand it typically (but not always) they won't allow children under 12 to have one - but I was just curious to see what the group here thought about these dogs, or if anyone here currently has one what their experience has been?
     
  2. Brenda

    Brenda Junior Member

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    If you use the Forums search feature, you will find many threads about dogs. They are referred to as DADs (Diabetes Alert Dogs) in some of the threads.
     
  3. destea1

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    Thanks Brenda :)
     
  4. mysweetwill

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    We have and still are considering it.

    Im interested to hear if anyone has personal experience as well.

    Here is the group in CA we contacted.

    http://www.dogs4diabetics.com/
     
  5. destea1

    destea1 Approved members

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    This is the one near me, my MIL has wonderful things to say about it - they use guide dogs that are trained but didn't fully make it through the graduation process or need to be 'career trained' due to minor things that won't fit in with the blind-assistance guidelines. Over the last 6 years I've witnessed my MIL raise about 5-6 dogs, they're all so wonderfully behaved and sweet.
     
  6. Connor's Mom

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    I think they are a great tool! We do not have one but, our Golden Retrievers have begun following my son around when his blood sugar is off. At first I thought they were just following him until I noticed that they don't always do it. When they do, if he stops they lick his hand a lot. I started testing him if they were following and found that he was almost always going low at that time. Do I trust them as an indicator...no. Do I think a dog can sense the change in a person with T1 yes!
     
  7. Christopher

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    I am not convinced about DADs. And I think that there are companies out there who rip people off. I would rather use a proven technology, like a CGM, over an unproven animal like a dog.

    DISCLAIMER: I know there are people who say they have had success with DAD's. I am simply stating my opinion, since that is what the OP asked for. :cwds:
     
  8. pianoplayer4

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    I'm sure they are trained/it would work, but I don't think some one with diabetes should have to make themselves stand out that much, for blind people there arn't many other options, but for diabetics there are.... The only time I would seriously consider getting one would be if I were hypo unaware and sensors were not working for me (ex: not accurate, allergic to tape) If it were a medically necessary I would not be ashamed to have an alert dog, I just don't think kids should be that set apart unless they need to be:cwds:
     
  9. miss_behave

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    I think a CGMS is a lot more accurate and much less intrusive than having a dog with me 24/7 and all the ignorance and unwanted attention it would bring IMHO.
     
  10. Connor's Mom

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    I agree a CGM would be more accurate but, for some, a Dog may do more than sense changes they may help the person deal with the disease on an emotional level.
     
  11. Amy C.

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    There have been lots of discussions on DADs on this forum. Those who have a dog, find the animal invaluable.
     
  12. jcanolson

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    With the price tag and then having to have the dog with her 24/7, I'll take a CGMS any day.;)
     
  13. mysweetwill

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    We were told you don't NEED to have the dog with you 24/7. I would imagine most people considering an animal such as this would recognize its inherent limitations and not solely rely on a dog to recognize highs and
    lows.

    In our case, we were considering getting a dog before diagnosis, why wouldn't we consider a diabetes trained dog now?

    I'll check out the old thread as well, still wondering if anyone actually has experience with a diabetes trained dog.
     
  14. emm142

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    I've heard that the dog should be with the owner at all times (or close to it).

    Personally I love my CGMS and I love my pet dogs... but I also love that sometimes I can get away from my pet dogs. ;) It would bother me to look so obviously 'disabled' and to be in charge of an animal at all times, but for other people it really works.

    Good luck, if this is the route you decide to go down.
     
  15. jcanolson

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    Maybe the $10,000 price tag?:confused:
     
  16. lynn

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    The idea of these dogs intrigues me. I would never do it because, frankly, I am just not enough of a dog person. We have two and I love them but if they had to be more involved in my/my son's life, it would be a problem for me. Nathan thinks he would love it.

    I am glad you posted this about not sticking out. I hadn't thought about it like that and lately he has been realizing that his diabetes doesn't have to be broadcast. If he doesn't want people to know, it's alright, which is a big thought for a kid who was diagnosed at two. When he was that young, it was necessary to allow more people into the information loop.
     
  17. MamaLibby

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    I know people that have had a ton of success with alert dogs on a medical and emotional level. My kids are allergic to dogs so that's a no go for us. I totally get both sides of this topic.
     
  18. valerie-k

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    I would get one of these dogs in a heartbeat if I could. My son flat out refuses to wear the CGM period. That was sure 2 grand spent worth while :rolleyes:
     
  19. C6H12O6

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    Dogs supposedly need 12 hours of sleep a day. I am not sure how this system works in light of a dog benefiting this much sleep.

    http://www.thedogbowl.com/PPF/category_ID/0_140/dogbowl.asp
     
  20. NomadIvy

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    I believe there are very good diabetic alert dogs out there. I guess the dog has to have a combination of a very keen sense of smell, highly intelligent, and has excellent training.
    We are considering one for ~K since she refuses to wear a sensor. However, I really need to dig deep into myself to see if I'm ready to take care of another being. We have 4 kids, travel a lot, and we also have a shi-tzu. A DAD would have to have extra special treatment. I'm not sure if we can handle one. ~K is excited about the possibility and would probably enjoy the companionship of a special dog for her -- for the most part.

    Below is a link to a breeder which trains DADs

    http://www.warrenretrievers.com/services.html
     

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