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Dogs May Help Detect Hypoglycemia

An appeal to provide substantial evidence that dogs could reliably sniff out changes in their owner’s diabetic state is now being spread out by researchers at the Queen’s University. Dr. Deborah Wells from the School of Psychology at Queen’s University and Dr. Shaun Lawson from the University of Lincoln are looking for 100 type 1 diabetics that would answer an online survey. They are also requesting for video footages of dogs reacting to the “hypos” or low blood sugar levels of their owners.

“Anecdotal reports suggest that some dogs can perform early warning of hypoglycemia by using their sense of smell to ‘sniff out’ if their owner’s blood sugar levels are dropping,” said Dr. Wells. According to researchers, there are some people in the United Kingdom who are trying to train dogs to detect hypoglycemia, although scientific evidence and further investigation are still needed.

As for the video clips, Dr. Wells added: “The video footage will be analyzed to see if dogs exhibit any changes in behavior or show alertness. We will also examine how similar these experiences are between dogs, how reliable they are and whether or not the dogs react in the same way every time their owner experiences low blood sugar levels:”

Researchers say that information derived from the study can be used to develop electronic non-invasive alert systems for the disorder that will be able to detect either decreases increases in blood sugar levels.

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