A dog owner has spoken of the invaluable support she gets from her pet which has potentially saved her life 3,500 times.
Magic, a Labrador, has been trained by Medical Detection Dogs to detect minuscule shifts in owner Claire Pesterfield’s blood sugar levels through his amazing sense of smell.
This is essential for Claire (pictured with Magic) because she has type 1 diabetes but is hypo unaware, meaning she has no symptoms to alert her of hypoglycemia.
Claire said her dog’s ability to smell microscopic changes allows Magic to warn her that she needs to take action with sometimes up to 30-minutes’ notice.
She told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme: “In the three and a half years we’ve been together, he has alerted and potentially saved my life 3,500 times. And he does it all for a dog biscuit. I know without him I wouldn’t be alive today.”
Claire said Magic was better than any technology at spotting drops in her blood glucose levels, adding: “Without him I would be testing my blood sugar every 20 or 30 minutes, to try and pre-empt what was going to happen.”
The dog sleeps with Claire at night and wakes her up when she needs to take action.
She said: “Before I got Magic I would be up every hour, trying to check my blood glucose level, trying to predict when these episodes would happen.
“That meant that I was exhausted. Many a time I would be too afraid to go to sleep in case I had an episode and wouldn’t wake up.
Having Magic means Claire can work in her role as a diabetes nurse looking after children with type 1 diabetes and not have to worry about severe hypoglycemia, which can cause coma if not identified urgently.

Get our free newsletters

Stay up to date with the latest news, research and breakthroughs.

You May Also Like

Conversation about doctors’ appointments occurring virtually rumbles on

More than half of GP appointments are still being delivered remotely in…

Public Health England considers low carb approach for type 2 diabetes

The low carb approach is being considered by the government to be…

Coronavirus: UK instructed to stay at home this weekend

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that staying at home this weekend…