- advertisement -

Service dogs for diabetes

Discussion in 'Other Hot Topics' started by Jeff, May 25, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. KatieJane'smom

    KatieJane'smom Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,670
    I'm not sure I understand your question, exactly. Could you clarify a little bit. I think I know what you're getting at but just want to make sure I understand.
     
  2. Sportsrep

    Sportsrep Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Messages:
    51
    Hi Kristi, I think you?ve already more or less answered my question in previous posts, but I was wondering whether DADs were highly trained or whether their alerting relied on some innate animal instinct.

    For example, I have no doubt that animals can sense things we can?t, but is a DAD using an advanced form of this, or does it have to receive very specific training which enables it to pick up on an impending low?

    Thanks for taking the time and trouble to respond,
    Rob
     
  3. KatieJane'smom

    KatieJane'smom Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,670
    No problem. Some dogs (not breed specific) do seem to have an innate ability for it without any training. The response, or specific alert, for them to tell you what they sense is what has to be trained. I guess you could compare it to a person's innate musical ability. Some people are born with it, some are trained for it.

    I doubt that this ability is that rare in dogs because I've seen several dogs that can sense lows & highs who've had no training whatsoever and heard numerous stories of someone's pet doing it. I think the rare thing with diabetic alert dogs comes in where you have the entire combination of qualities needed to act as a service animal. Someone might have a pet dog who can sense their bg's but they wouldn't dream of being able to take that dog out in a public arena on a daily basis because of behavior, temperment, etc.

    A diabetic alert dog as a service animal is held to a very high level of expectation out in public. But beyond just being trained as a service animal, unlike a mobility dog that is trained for specific commands, a diabetic alert dog must be able to problem solve and think on it's own even if that means disobeying in order to help their person. An example I can give of this is my dd's first dog who was a natural alerter from the day we brought her home from the animal shelter. She had formal training & went to schoo everyday. My daughter was in Middle School and would be walking down the hall, the dog would alert, my daughter would ignore her in order to keep chatting with her friends, so the dog figured out that if she walked around in front of my dd and layed down then my dd would be forced to stop walking. The dog would refuse to get up until my dd checked her bg and treated. This was when her lows were dropping very suddenly & somehow the dog knew to make her stop & test right then. Another example is when a dog has been told to stay or wait and they break that command in order to go find help instead.

    Another thing that people don't think about is that most service dogs work during the day or while their person is out & about. Diabetic alert dogs work 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. Nonstop, even during the night - especially during the night. It's a hard job on them and you have to consider when to retire the dog at an age that might be earlier than you would retire other service animals.
     
  4. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    12,521
    Anyone?

    (too short)
     
  5. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    13,157
    Right. Again, just like predictive alarms on a CGM.

    I think what gets lost in these conversations is that CGMs do a lot more than just alert at a low or high threshold. If that was all that they did, I'd find the comparison to dogs more apt.
     
  6. Flutterby

    Flutterby Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Messages:
    14,623
    Can someone post some reliable research/informational sites for these dogs? Not necessarily links to particular trainers, but some sites that have true information? So someone that is interested and looking for information on a alert dog can find the correct information? There are so many scams going on out there, I hate for someone to be 'taken'.
     
  7. KatieJane'smom

    KatieJane'smom Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,670
    I guess I don't understand why you feel the need to compare the two. I don't think this is what this thread is for. They are two totally different tools in diabetic care. Some people choose MDI, some pumps, some omnipods, some I-ports - different tools.

    We, personally, found a CGM to be something we didn't care to use just like most people would not choose to use an alert dog. No big deal, really!

    We found the dog to be reliable, dependable, dead-on accurate, non-painful, non-invasive, & the fastest indicator of changing bg's, able to make decisions, go get help, fetch the kit when it's been forgotten, fetch the juice, carry supplies on it so they are always available even when running or swimming with no place on your person to carry them, etc.

    I guess if you must do a comparison then I would say that a dog has to be fed unlike a CGM.
     
  8. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    13,157
    Well, actually, you're the one who first compared them:

    So I was merely pointing out that if you're going to compare them fairly, you should look at all the features of both, and not just the detection of highs and lows.
     
  9. swellman

    swellman Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,544
    I agree that comparing them is unlikely to result in anything productive - especially until there's some sound evidence of efficacy and reliability. I hope that study proceeds quickly as I think this topic is interesting.

    Jokingly, of course, dogs don't go ??? in the middle of the night like ours did last night. :D
     
  10. swellman

    swellman Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,544
    How did you conclude they were accurate? Did you compare the results of a CGMS while logging alerts?
     
  11. StillMamamia

    StillMamamia Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    13,195
    And the "which is more invasive*" question? Anyone have both a CGMS & a DAD to compare?

    *invasive = not necessarily having something in your body, but in your life in general
     
  12. sarahspins

    sarahspins Approved members

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    2,205
    Maybe, but comments like this completely disregard the possibility that CGM has some flaws.. you (and others) seem to assume that it is something that works well for *everyone*. This forum alone is proof that it doesn't - regardless of the arguments at hand. It is not for everyone.

    I've stated it before, and I'll state it again - CGM technology is NOT perfect. It probably won't be for a while. Until you've tested in the low 40's while your CGM is tracking happily in the mid 80's without even a hint that you're going to go low, and you can understand what that is like, then you really just don't get it. Could a dog catch that low? Perhaps.. but I can't prove that, and I'm not trying to. Half the time *my* CGM just plain can't catch those lows.. and that IS something I have documented many times - it's better at catching slower developing lows (like the type that happen overnight) than the fast ones, because of the inherent delay in readings.

    I rarely feel any lows.. and I never have. My hypounawareness is not something that has "developed" from years of poor control (because, quite frankly, I've never HAD poor control). I had lows in the 30's my very first week on insulin, and had no idea just how low that really was... no one told me. It's possible that I have other autonomic issues at play that are SEPARATE from diabetes... I've suspected it for a while but nothing has been proven. It's also possible that frequent and severe lows so early on may have "broken" some sort of natural feedback cycle that no longer works for me - I don't know, and I'm not even sure I need to know why. I just test often, and hope I catch all of the unexpected lows before they become something more serious.
     
  13. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    13,157
    What? How is stating that to compare the two you have to compare ALL the features of the two "completely disregarding" the possibility that CGM has flaws? My CGM complaints are well-documented on this forum if you want to go look. But if anyone here is denying that a particular tool has specific flaws (aside from "it's not for everyone"), it's KJ's mom:

    She's also stated elsewhere that it's "100% accurate." So basically perfect, except you have to feed it.

    So if you're going to accuse anyone of being biased toward a particular tool or denying that there may be downsides, I think you need to look elsewhere for your accusations. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Flutterby

    Flutterby Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Messages:
    14,623
    Found a page that has some commonly asked questions..

    I took it from this page http://alertservicedogs.com/faqs.html I didn't copy and paste all of it become some was specific to Alert Sevice Dogs.. and I was looking for general information.

    Main page is here http://alertservicedogs.com/index.html

    I find this subject very interesting, and while we would probably never get an alert dog, I'd like to be knowledgable about it in case there is ever a time that Kaylee decides for herself that she'd like to look into it.. I'd like some information to be able to get her started..

    I have yet to find anything reguarding the study that Sarah Maddie's mom was asking about, or about blood sugar dropping during a seizure (except in diabetic ones, of course).. so if anyone has this information it would be great.

    I'd also like to hear from those that do have an alert dog.
     
  15. KatieJane'smom

    KatieJane'smom Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,670
    I think that it's "well-documented on this forum if you want to go look" that I, as well as other SD owners have said numerous times that it's tons of hard work and other cons. I just don't see the point in having the exact same conversations with the exact same people over and over again who, obviously, have nothing better to do with their time. I think everyone is pretty well aware of what a dog is and what it does - eats, poops, etc.

    What's puzzling to me is why some people want to drag these threads into something they were never meant to be - a place to get information and advice. You have a CGM, you seem happy with it. Great, hunky dory, happy for you. I would never go on a GGM thread and belittle what you are doing or berate you over and over for it, or pick apart every word you say. In fact, you've never seen me even reading a CGM thread because it's of no interest to us at this time - at least not until muchmilde improvements are made.

    Yes, our dog is 100%. Yes, I'm saying it's just about perfect. I'm nit denying that at all. My dd has worked very hard and consistantly in the training of her dog and we are one of the lucky ones to have a really great, dependable alert dog who is dead-on accurate every single time. I know several others who's dogs are at 100%. Would any trainer guarantee that? Of course not! I also know other people who's dogs are at 80% or 90% or even 50% and they are still working on it. However, I don't know anyone who regrets having their alert dog and they are happy with the bad lows the dog does catch. I don't know anyone who has had to fight with their child to force them to work with their dog.
    I think I've been as honest as I can be but, at this point, I'm pretty much through wasting my time on those who only seem intent on fault-finding.
     
  16. KatieJane'smom

    KatieJane'smom Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,670
    Seems as if y'all have run everyone else off in previous threads.

    Word of caution: be careful what you find on a google search. Lots of scams out there as many of us can attest to!
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2010
  17. KatieJane'smom

    KatieJane'smom Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,670
    yes, several people have already done that for you. Brynn, maybe Bailey'smom, Michelle. I'm sure you can find it in a search
     
  18. Sportsrep

    Sportsrep Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Messages:
    51
    Well, I for one am very grateful for all the information, Kristi ? not because we?re particularly looking to get a DAD ourselves (actually I?ve never heard of them before), but because it?s fascinating topic.

    As for whether a DAD is ?better? or ?worse? than CGMS, I guess that?s up to each individual to decide. My diabetes is completely different from either of my children?s, so I?m firmly in the YMMV camp :)
     
  19. Flutterby

    Flutterby Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Messages:
    14,623
    I'm well aware that there are scams out there and THAT is the exact reason WHY I have asked several times for people to post links, I've asked for resources, others have as well... people that have gone through this.. yet, no one has done it. This should be a thread full of information for those that are looking for a dog, or interested in learning about diabetic alert dogs and that includes links to reliable sources.

    The question I have asked have nothing but the best intestions, nothing other than learning about what a diabetes alert dog can do..

    I'd actually really appreciate an adult conversation.. when someone says something and they know there is research out there, they've done the research, yet, won't share it with anyone its not having an adult conversation. Several people have asked for links so they could take a look, and the request go ignored.. so I search out information.. the link that I provided looks like a great site.. I haven't heard anything negative about them.. the Q & A section was really informative.. some if it had to do with their particular business and those I didn't copy and paste, just the general questions and answers.
     
  20. caspi

    caspi Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    5,134
    Perhaps "extraordinary" was a poor choice of words. :(

    Thank you for clarifying this. Have you located the alert videos yet?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

- advertisement -

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice