Amazing dog smells diabetic emergencies
Shirley the labrador attentively watches her seven-year-old owner knowing that she could be minutes away from slipping into a coma.
Rebecca Farrar has an aggressive form of type one diabetes, meaning a hypoglycaemic attack could send her into a coma.The seven-year-old cannot tell when her blood sugar levels are becoming too high or low, meaning she has to rely on Shirley and her extraordinary sense of smell.
When the dog notices a change in Rebecca’s levels she continuously licks her owner as a warning. If Shirley still gets no response she is trained to go and fetch the medical testing kit in the classroom at Harpole Primary School in Northamptonshire.
Rebecca’s mother, Claire, said: “Shirley will sense Rebecca’s blood sugar levels going low during the night and if that’s the case, Shirley will try her hardest to wake Rebecca up by licking her legs, licking her feet.
“If Shirley can’t wake her up during the night she comes into my bedroom and gets me up. It’s like Lassie.”
Shirley was trained for over a year by charity Medical Detection Dogs.
Claire Guest from Medical Detection Dogs said: “We taught the dogs to be alert to low blood sugar odour and once the dog learns that we teach them to distinguish normal from low and then it’s easy from then on.
“The dog understands that whenever they smell that smell, get help.