PARENTS

Diabetic Alert Dog Sensed Four-Year-Old's Blood Sugar Drop From More Than Five Miles Away

Hero the alert dog certainly lived up to his name.

28/04/2016 16:08

A four-year-old girl with diabetes was saved by her alert dog when her blood sugar levels dropped at school - even though the pair were five miles apart.

Sadie Brooks, who has Type 1 diabetes and Down's syndrome, relies on her dog, Hero, to pick up changes in her blood sugar levels through his strong sense of smell and to alert her parents by whining.

Sadie's mum Michelle Brooks explained that one afternoon while Sadie was at school, Hero wouldn't stop whining.

"Whining is not always in his protocol, but he just started whining and he would not stop," she told KUTV News

Brooks decided to call Sadie's school just incase.

Sadie's teacher, Ms Stoneman, checked Sadie's blood sugar levels and reported back to her mum that they were fine.

However half an hour later they dropped dramatically from 122 to 82, nearing a "danger zone" for Sadie.

"I’ll be honest, it kinda blew my mind," Stoneman said.

Hero is able to detect changes to Sadie's blood sugar levels through an odour omitted by the body when chemical changes occur.

When her blood sugar levels are too low, Hero whines and will offer her parents his left paw.

Hero's trainer, KC Owens from Tattle Tale Scent Dogs, said she "couldn't explain" how the dog was able to sense it from so far away, but theorised the dog could have an instinct similar to a mother's intuition.

"These dogs have abilities and senses beyond our understanding," she said.

Brooks said since sharing the story, she's had an "enormous positive response" from parents of children with diabetes.

Writing on a Facebook page dedicated to her dog called Sadie's Hero, Brooks said she wanted to make it clear that not all diabetes dogs will be able to detect sugar levels over such large distances.

"We didn't want to give the impression that all dogs alerts long distance," she wrote.

"They don't. We didn't want to appear like we were making crazy claims about our dog's ability. KC even says not all of her teams get to experience this amazing phenomenon.

"Many of her teams have experienced this too many times to be coincidence but it doesn't happen with every low or with every dog.

"So while we can't and won't even try to explain how this happens, we feel blessed.

"Even without the long distance alerts, Hero is amazing."

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