In this video, Claire Guest, Chief Executive and Director of Operations for the charity Medical Detection Dogs, tells us about the benefits that can be offered by medical assistance dogs. They can, for example, detect the presence of early stage cancer. One particular way in which these dogs can help is to warn a client when they are about to suffer an attack brought about by a medical condition.
We learn, for example, how the dogs can help in the management of type 1 diabetes. By alerting when the blood sugar level is to high or too low, in particular warning about the onset of a hypo-glycemic event, the dogs give the client valuable time in which to rebalance their medication to avoid an attack which could lead to a fit or a coma.
Claire explains the biology behind this and how the dogs help. She gives examples of other similar sorts of conditions which the dogs can help with either by warning that an attack is imminent or that there is something in the environment which will trigger an attack.
The bond between dog and owner is something particularly special here, where the dog is not just a companion, but they are vital in helping individuals and their families to lead a normal life.