Alan in his uniformHere’s a couple of updates on Alan, the puppy I donated to Medical Detection Dogs.  Come on Jeremy Hunt, why aren’t you using these dogs to detect cancers as a matter of course.  It’s a no brainer: the current secondary screening service offered by the charity (which gets no government funding) means that no invasive biopsies are carried out, as the dogs smell cancer proteins in urine samples and are up to 98% accurate.  Alan has such a nice temperament that I’m hoping he will go and live with a child or adult as their medical alert dog.  Here’s an explanation of their work:  With their amazing sense of smell our dogs are trained to detect minute changes in blood sugar levels and other hormone related odour changes. When these levels fall or rise outside the normal range they will warn their owner, get help and fetch any vital medical supplies.
We have trained dogs to work with people with very brittle Type 1 diabetes and Addison’s Crisis, a disease of the adrenal gland.
For those with diabetes, the avoidance of dangerously low blood sugar levels (Hypoglycaemia) is an acute daily problem. Low blood sugar levels are very dangerous if left untreated. Symptoms vary from confusion to seizures to comas, and can become life-threatening. An inability to detect a hypo is common in young children and adolescents as a result of their stage of growth and development. Recurring hypos can contribute to memory and concentration problems.
For some people with diabetes deliberately raising their blood sugar levels was the only way to prevent severe hypos. We know that high blood sugars over a period of time are likely to cause disastrous consequences including amputations, sight loss, heart disease, strokes and renal failure.
For those with Addison’s Disease the onset of an Addisonian Crisis, where the adrenal gland has failed to create adequate levels of cortisol, can mean severe pain, convulsions and unconsciousness which lead to collapse and hospitalisation. Our dogs are able to detect minute changes that indicate a potential crisis and alert the client to the need for medication. Client stories Until their dogs are trained to a specific owner in need of their help, they are placed with socialisers.  MDD are always looking for more socialisers so do investigate their site for yourself if you live in the Bucks, Beds area.  Here are a couple of images of their latest funds and awareness raising event at Swanbourne.

Fund Raiser

Fund Raiser tent

Medical Detection Dogs