Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pets & Diabetic Owners (A borrowed topic)


Here's a great topic borrowed from Scott Strumello's blog. Worth a personalized version on my virtual Corner Booth, I think.

Please let me introduce, Riley and Shadow. The pets who live in the Hoskins Household and, aside from their playful pet demeanors, are also keenly aware that part of their duties include being alert to diabetic issues.

On his blog today, a repost from one a couple years ago, Scott writes about how dogs can be trained to detect low blood sugars and diabetic disasters, and while cats aren't always trained as much or the same way, some (such as Kerri's cats and Phyllis) do have that diabetic-sense about them. Sadly, Shadow doesn't appear to have that sense and doesn't care too much about anything diabetes-related. Though she sometimes does like to play with pump tubing, if dangled in front of her.

Riley's a different story, though. She certaintly doesn't like the smell of insulin, as she's gotten a nose-full during a recent pump refill, and there's little liklihood that she understands the problems associated with jumping and pawing at pump sites.


Still, this black lab does seem to be able to sense when something's wrong. Typically, she wants to jump up on the bed with me and play, in order to make everything better. My crazy, delusional hypoglycemia-induced rants and arm flailings don't seem to calm her down, they just provide more ammunition for her wanting to be a part of the action. It seems whenever my blood sugar is low, there Riley is - wanting to help. Will I ever rely on her to call 911? Probably not. But she is a staple for moral support, if anything.

As Scott's blog mentions, there are specific groups - Heaven Scent Paws and Dogs for Diabetics that specifically address this topic and provide dogs and/or training for them on the D-recognition front. Good stuff, and worthwhile organizations to have. Our pets are lovable and can also serve as natural low-sugar detectors when we're asleep, if we don't have a CGM and don't happen to wake up by the time a reaction sneaks up on us.

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