Couple Trains Diabetes-Sniffing Dog

Thursday, 10 Apr 2014 03:52 PM

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When Robert McVey was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, his doctor suggested a service dog — a diabetic alert dog — trained to sniff out swings in blood sugar levels and signal their owners. But the costs for such a dog were prohibitive, so McVey and his wife, Lesli, decided to train their own animal, Fox News reports.

Now they want to help others.
Diabetic alert dogs aren't meant to replace medicine or monitoring devices, but they can serve as a safety mechanism for people with diabetes, experts say.

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"These dogs are not for everybody, but if you're somebody who is frequently passing out [due to] low sugar, you definitely want to look into this and see if this is an option for you," Anuj Bhargava, M.D., an endocrinologist at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, told FoxNews.com

Trained dogs are costly — ranging from $9,000 to $25,000 each. That's why the McVeys opted to train their own service animal, Austin.

"The obedience and everything is the same. You still start with that and make sure they have their obedience. As far as the scent training and things, you start them off very early," Lesli said.

Now, the McVeys hope to use their training to help other diabetics who can't afford the high price tag. The McVeys are currently seeking non-profit status for their organization, DADs Paws 4 Life.

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