Service Dogs Pick Up Scent of Diabetes Danger
About two times a night, Shana Eppler wakes up to an alarm and slips into her daughter Abbie’s room to test the 8-year-old’s blood sugar. Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 4, Abbie experiences low blood-sugar levels, a potentially dangerous condition known as hypoglycemia that can cause the loss of consciousness.
The alarm Ms. Eppler uses to avoid a health emergency is a furry one named Gracie, a 70-pound, 3-year-old British Labrador retriever trained to sniff out high and low blood-sugar levels. When Abbie’s sugar level rises or falls below a certain target at night, Gracie rings a bell and Ms. Eppler gets up.