Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Metabolomics & Lipidomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Dogs Could Act as Effective Early-Warning System for Patients with Diabetes

Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Dogs that are trained to respond to their owners’ hypoglycaemia could offer a very effective way to alert diabetic patients of impending lowered blood sugars.

The findings, published in the journal PLOS ONE, is the first academic study to assess whether trained dogs could be used as a reliable early-warning system to monitor glycaemia control.

The Company of Animals-funded study, led by academics at the University of Bristol, investigated whether specially trained ‘glycaemia alert dogs’ could accurately and consistently detect the signs of low/high blood sugar in their owners and alert them when levels were reported to be outside their target range.

A total of seventeen dogs which have been trained by Medical Detection Dogs to alert their owners when their blood sugars were out of target range were studied. While some dogs had been specifically chosen for their potential to work as a ‘glycaemia alert dog’, mostly donated to and trained by the charity, others were clients’ pets which had been trained in situ.

The research team collected data from the dogs owners’ that allowed them to assess objectively whether trained dogs reliably respond to their owners’ hypoglycaemic state, and whether owners experienced tightened glycaemic control, and wider psychosocial benefits.

The findings showed that since obtaining their dog, all seventeen clients studied reported positive effects including reduced paramedic call outs, decreased unconscious episodes and improved independence. Owner-recorded data showed that dogs alerted their owners, with significant, though variable, accuracy at times of low and high blood sugar.

Dr Nicola Rooney, the study’s lead author and a research fellow in the University’s School of Veterinary Sciences, said: “Despite considerable resources having been invested in developing electronic systems to facilitate tightened glycaemic control, current equipment has numerous limitations. These findings are important as they show the value of trained dogs and demonstrate that glycaemia alert dogs placed with clients living with diabetes, afford significant improvements to owner well-being including increased glycaemic control, client independence and quality-of-life and potentially could reduce the costs of long-term health care.

Eight out of the ten dogs (for which owners provided adequate records) responded consistently more often when their owner’s blood sugars were reported to be outside, than within, target range. Comparison of nine clients’ routine records showed significant overall change after obtaining their dogs, with seven clients recording a significantly higher proportion of routine tests within target range after obtaining a dog. The study confirms that trained detection dogs perform above chance level.

Dr Rooney added: “Some of the owners also describe their dogs respond even before their blood sugars are low but as they start to drop, so it is possible that the dogs are even more effective than this study suggests.  While it is believed that dogs use their acute sense of smell to detect changes in the chemical composition of their owner’s sweat or breath to respond to glycaemic control, further research is now needed to further understand how dogs carry out this amazing task.”


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,400+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Molecular Modelling to Help Create Better, Safer Drugs
How our bodies break down the common drugs ibuprofen, diclofenac and warfarin is the subject of a new study from the University of Bristol.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Scientific News
Toxin from Salmonid Fish has Potential to Treat Cancer
Researchers from the University of Freiburg decode molecular mechanism of fish pathogen.
Researchers Find Key Player in Diabetic Kidney Disease Through Power of Metabolomics
Discovery could lead to new and better diagnostic marker for chronic kidney disease.
Can Cell Cycle Protein Prevent or Kill Breast Cancer Tumors?
An MD Anderson study has shown the potential of a simple molecule involved in cancer metabolism as a powerful therapeutic.
Study Reveals Improved Way to Interpret High-Throughput Biological Data
A recent study has revealed a novel workflow, identifying associations between molecules to provide insights into cellular metabolism and gene expression in complex biological systems.
Optical 'Dog's Nose' Developed to Detect Cancer, Other Diseases
Researchers are using optical spectroscopy to develop a quick, non-invasive “breath test” they believe will have the potential to screen for a variety of diseases, including diabetes, infections and cancers.
Researchers Link Liver Disease and Drug Metabolism
Researchers have discovered that nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, an increasingly common but often undiagnosed liver disease, could have significant medical implications for people with type 2 diabetes.
Scientists Create Synthetic Membranes That Grow Like Living Cells
Chemists and biologists at UC San Diego have succeeded in designing and synthesizing an artificial cell membrane capable of sustaining continual growth, just like a living cell.
Potential New Class of Cancer Drugs
Scientists have found a way to stop cancer cell growth by targeting the Warburg Effect, a trait of cancer cell metabolism that scientists have been eager to exploit.
Team Led by TSRI Scientists Shows AIDS Vaccine Candidate Successfully ‘Primes’ Immune System
New research shows that an experimental vaccine candidate can stimulate immune activity necessary to prevent HIV infection.
The Perfect Partnership: Research & Industry; Software & Instrumentation. It really starts to come together at ASMS 2015
Collaboration and knowledge-sharing were evident everywhere: on the bus, in the hallways and in the bars. This article aims to capture this theme and share with you some of the fruits of this coming together of science and industry.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,400+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!