March 13, 2012

A Bill to Allow Diabetic Alert Dogs in Public Buildings


The marvel of diabetes alert dogs is that they have the ability to sense a glucose change before most of us can check our levels using a glucose meter. This is the case in a perfect world for diabetes alert dogs, not Mississippi.

According to new legislation in the state of Mississippi,  this bill would authorizes the use of Diabetic, or Diabetes, Alert Dogs in schools and public places.

Service dogs are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities – such as guiding people who are blind, deaf, paraplegic or quadriplegic, or a person who has seizures. The Americans with Disabilities Act provides public access rights for these dogs and their disabled handlers.

Medical Response Dogs are another type of Medical Assistance Dog.  The dogs who are specific for people with diabetes have been trained to smell the change in blood chemistry before the person can feel symptoms. For a person with diabetes, the dog has the ability to sense a high or low glucose level 15 to 30 minutes before the person can recognize the symptoms.

Dogs don’t speak to us but they do communicate effectively. In the instance of these dogs – they are taught to sit and stare at the person, to touch the person with their nose, or to jump up on them when a glucose level change warrants attention.

The dogs are utterly valuable to people who need them. The training costs of these clairvoyant pups is estimated to be $10,000.  The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi supports the bill, which announced in February that it will help certain child and adult type 1 diabetics purchase the pricey service animals.

The story in Mississippi started after a teacher with type 1 diabetes was unable to bring her service dog into the classroom, to give her potentially lifesaving warnings that her blood sugar level is about to drop. Diabetes inherently brings pitfalls  to your everyday life. The beast is diabetes. The beast is within. If you could employ a furry friend to be your bodyguard – don’t you need that protection everywhere you go?

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