My daughter is seeking a diabetic alert dog. There are so many companies out there, I was wondering if anyone here has had experience with any of the companies that train and place service dogs? My daughter has type 1, and despite trying many methods, she has been unable to tolerate adhesives to use the Dexcom. She now has a baby, and her husband travels for work, and a some difficult situations have arisen with lows and unawareness.
Has she tried freestyle libre, which might not cause same reaction ? Medtronic also has a cgms.
Assume she has tried the various barrier products.
Sorry, I don’t have any information on service dogs, but have trained my dog to alert me when dexcom alarms!
Hi @Docjane, I don’t have a user POV, just a supporter POV, but the alert dog organization I fundraise for has a list of helpful tips to ask any prospective trainer\ organization. They can be found here at Dogs4Diabetics.
I would suggest finding an organization that is close to home as there is a significant time commitment in the training side before the service dogs are released.
She has tried numerous barrier combinations. The problem we have with the freestyle is there is no alert at this point for low levels, which is the main problem. She and my husband are both unaware of lows. She is not adverse to multiple finger sticks, but the lows sneak up on her seemingly at random.
She is in the Midwest, no organizations in the state. She has picked a couple that she is communicating with. Has asked lots of questions and talked to other clients to try to be sure they are reputable. It is a lot of money to invest.
I don’t know anything about service dogs, but our solution for waking up to lows was “SugarMate”. Our son was diagnosed at 2 and is almost 6 now and that was our main problem…waking up for lows, because the alerts are not only crap, but alarm/alert fatigue is real after this number of years. So, SugarMate has the capability of calling you which wakes me up every time (I have SugarMate in my contacts with the ringtone “Alarm” - with the volume all the way up, it works 100% of the time for me.)
I highly recommend this app for anyone who has concerns for lows…it’s been our saving grace. I also watch SugarMate at night on the big screen Smart TV (SugarMate via web browser on the TV), so that anyone that wakes up can see the current BG on the TV.
If you go the SugarMate route, there are plenty of folks here (including myself) who could help you configure things and get it up and running.
@ClaudnDaye The libre can work with Sugarmate? The Miao Miao would be necessary right ?
Also so sorry I don’t have any experience or suggestions for diabetic alert dogs! I’ve heard they’re quite expensive and I’ve read some studies that overall they miss more lows than most cgms for the average patient. I’m sure each training center has their own data on how reliable their dogs are. It may be something to ask about when considering which center to get the dog from
I don’t think so @LarissaW but i think it’s In developement for the Libre system. It’s (right now) for the G4, G5 and G6.
The Senseonics Eversense might be an option.
The FreeStyle Libre 2 is currently pending FDA approval. I thought it was going to be approved this past summer.
“Abbott executives said on the earnings call it is taking longer than expected to work through a number of items with FDA.”
Abbott is likely working on the FreeStyle Libre 3 which would likely have real time alerts. Guess based on the announced Abbott / Tandem partnership.
Only point being perhaps there are additional short and long terms options to consider.
Alarm fatigue we totally understand! Thanks for the info on Sugarmate. I will look into that.
Eversense has a bridge program where you pay 99 for the 1st 3 month sensor, and 99 for the 2nd one also…so you pretty much pay 198 for 6 months, and it vibrates 6 times without your phone even being on, or anywhere near you, which john58 was a big fan of…I was a huge fan because the Dexcom and the libre kept falling off in the winters (especially when there’s snow), however, I was not a fan of the app because I was used to xdrip and being able to modify movie MP3s and yes different ones for predicted low, low, high s, etc… when I’m at work, I’ll treat lows and highs based on the distinct ringtones…xdrip also works with watches, so that’s nice also, but If she didn’t like the stickers, mastisol, skin tac, patches, etc, eversense is great except for the small scars…I took pictures on different threads if you’d like to look them up
And the miaomiao2 which now works with the libre u.s. 14 day and xdrip…but it will take a few weeks to receive after you purchase it…with nightscout you can also create an Alexa skill
We have two service dogs in our community that I have interacted with. One of the dogs even helped “diagnose” a neighbor that became a type 2, and had no idea until the dog alerted on her high blood sugar. With all of that being said, you might have better luck having your daughter get a dog and train it locally. It would be much much cheaper and the one thing we wanted from a diabetes alert dog was waking my son up during the night, and both of the people that have the dogs say they won’t work really well at night, only during the day. Especially once they get older. They are really great dogs, but at the current 20k level we were quoted I have better places to spend my money.
I am guessing they do not come with a money back guarantee.
I think the concept is awesome.
But dogs are like people. (In more ways than one - lol.). Everybody is an individual. For better or worse.
It would be great to take a test drive with one, but these places want money up front. My husband I would never spend that much money on himself (also Type1),
Actually some do have a guarantee, but who knows if they would honor it. I’m afraid it sounds like there are some scam artists in the field.
Have never heard of Eversense. Will research that.
Someone on this or another forum claimed they trained their dog with help from someone they knew who trained dogs…I looked for the thread but failed… by wetting towels with their saliva when they were hyperglycemic, and hypoglycemic separating them and putting them in the freezer… over the course of a few months, letting them smell the towels and rewarding them with treats and eventually this will train them to recognize lows and highs…I still haven’t trained my pug yet, but it might be easier and cheaper
You might want to check out ServiceDogAcademy.com. They seem to offer classes and resources to train your own diabetes alert dog. They work with a workman named Mary McNeight (I think) who has developed their training program. Not all dogs are equally suited and not all of us are equally disciplined when it comes to dog training, but this may be something to consider.
Note: I DON’T have a diabetes service dog …
@RogerType1. That is a similar training method to what Dogs4Diabetics uses. It’s effective, but takes time to train