November 15, 2012

Additional Information

Service dogs can be trained to help perform many tasks - guiding people who are blind, alerting individuals who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, or protecting a person having a seizure to name a few. Dogs can also receive training to help those with diabetes.

The Genesys Diabetes and Nutrition Learning Center will feature this topic at its next support group meeting.

Diabetes alert dogs are trained to use their highly sensitive scent capabilities to identify changes in a person's blood chemistry that occurs during rapid changes in blood sugar levels. These dogs can sense when glucose levels are dropping in people with diabetes, and alert the individual to take action quickly.

Some dogs have more than 200 million sensors that can smell individual scents. In patients with diabetes, rapid changes in blood sugar levels cause chemical changes in the body that the trained dog can smell through the person's breath and skin.

Dogs are trained to notify the individual in a specific, identifiable way - for example, it could be to touch a person with their nose, sit and stare at the person, or place a certain toy in their mouth.

To learn more about these diabetes response dogs, reserve a seat at the Genesys diabetes support group. The group is free and open to individuals with diabetes, as well as their family and friends.