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Medical Detection Dog

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Lindsay_Mc, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. Lindsay_Mc

    Lindsay_Mc · Member

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    Hi I wondered if anyone had a Medical Detection Dog, as we wanted to find out for our little girl. She has only just been diagnosed and we are all finding it hard to spot her hypos and she had a terrible hypo on Friday with what they thought was a seizure, We are all so stressed and as she is only 4 this has been a terrifying experience or her and we thought a special friend would make a huge difference! Any help appreciated!!!
     
  2. Kearnsy27

    Kearnsy27 Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hi, I am 27 and a type one diabetic for the last 16 years, I am going through the process of applying for a medical detection dog, which isn't easy, there are many stages of doing this and the 1st stage is eligibility, the mdd team see this as being a last resort so they won't even consider this for you if you haven't tried other methods of hypo control first, seeking advice from ur diabetes team, insulin pump, bgm machine for the arm, and proof of all this. If you have tried these options they will consider you further :) hope this helps
     
  3. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It must be really hard for a little one to spot hypo symptoms. But if newly diagnosed both you and she are also going to struggle with what to look out for as hypo symptoms - there are a lot of things that might be hypo symptoms and your daughter might get a combination of some of them to alert that she is dropping low, the symptoms she gets might change depending on how low the levels are or how fast she is dropping.

    I have no experience of diabetic alert dogs but I understand there is a long waiting list, they are very much the exception and as @Kearnsy27 says they are the last resort. In terms of practicalities, is your daughter in school, how would an alert dog work in school? I think there is a long training period for the alert dog and it's a lot of work to train them- you would still need to test when you had the alert dog.

    So while a diabetic alert dog does sound like a lovely idea, might it be a bit of a romanticised one? Especially the practicalities of getting used to life with type one combined with the highly specialised training of a dog...

    Other solutions to spotting your daughters hypos to consider might include:
    - frequent testing to see if you can work out your daughters hypo symptoms
    - getting your daughter used to the idea that if she feels funny (hopefully you will be able to narrow down the funny feeling) she has to eat and tell someone
    - freestyle libre - it's approved for 4 and up
    - CGM.

    Can you have a chat to your DSN about whether any of the other ideas to try are available - I think there are currently a lot of free trials for the libre going on.

    Hope you and your daughter are recovering well from Friday's hypo.
     
  4. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    It will get easier @Lindsay_Mc The first few weeks are stressful - and much more so when it's your child.

    If you're finding it hard to spot her hypos, test lots. Also, ask her if she felt different (when she was hypo). Hypo signs can be subtle and can vary.

    Ther are parents here whose children were diagnosed at a young age. Look at the Parents section. They may have specific advice for you if you have questions.

    I have Type 1 but my children don't (fingers crossed) but if they did, I'd be looking to see if they could get an insulin pump. For people on small doses of insulin, like a child, they are fantastic, and can mean smoother sugars and less hypos. You can also get pumps which support CGM (continuous glucose monitor). There is also the Libre, which I believe has now been approved for children.

    It's impossible to avoid hypos totally, but you can reduce them, so please don't think your daughter will always have bad hypos like that.
     
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  5. Lindsay_Mc

    Lindsay_Mc · Member

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    Thank you, we are seeing the Diabetic Nurse on Tuesday and have a chat about things, I am just not sure how my daughter will handle having a pump attached to her, she has other medical problems that make her terrified of hospitals and all medical treatment. But we will need to ask and deal with it step at a time. Thank you!!!
     
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  6. Lindsay_Mc

    Lindsay_Mc · Member

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    Thank you, I think for us it was also about giving her that distraction of stress and as she is so little the hope that it might make her feel a bit comfort. It is maybe a bit romanticised but also a little bit of a comfort for her. I will look into the pumps but am unsure how she will handle it as she has other medical issues that make her frightened of hospitals and medical treatment. She has been so good at trying to tell us if she feels funny but doesn't always know herself. Thank you, its not until you have to deal with this situation that you realise how difficult Diabetes is!
     
  7. Lindsay_Mc

    Lindsay_Mc · Member

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    Thank you, that is such a shame, it would be such a comfort to have a less invasive way of helping her than equipment attached to her, maybe we were just hopeful parents that will try anything gentle and comforting rather that frightening. Thank you, I think we have no hope of a dog!
     
  8. chalup

    chalup Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't know anything about treating a very young child but it seems to me that your idea of a dog being a companion and a special friend is a good one. You never know, you might get lucky and the dog will alert you even without training. This does happen sometimes. I would research that a bit and see if maybe certain breeds are better than others. Just random thoughts here.
     
  9. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @Lindsay_Mc have a little search on YouTube for people using freestyle libre and/or dexcom just to get an idea of how they work and how you insert them - there are definitely some clips of kids having the dexcom sensor put in. It's surprising how unobtrusive they are, it doesn't feel like loads of equipment attached to you.

    Lots of people decorate pumps and sensor for kids - there are lots of stickers and decals etc to make them cool/fun for little ones (lots of Pokemon themed ones at the moment).

    Sounds like your daughters doing really well and it will get easier to spot the hypos when you and she can figure out what to look out for.
     
  10. Lindsay_Mc

    Lindsay_Mc · Member

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    Thats what we were hoping just to give her a bit of a sense of security, think I will just look at a puppy and hopefully it will be sensitive to her. Thanks for your support!
     
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  11. Lindsay_Mc

    Lindsay_Mc · Member

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    Thank you will go and have a look, it's maybe just a scary step for us but this whole month has been scary. She's had a terrible weekend, she hypo'ed badly on Friday and had the doctors thought she has a fit. Was terrifying, and it was without warning, Will definitely be looking through everything now. Thank you
     
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