Can Trained Dogs Detect a Hypoglycemic Scent in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes?
In persons with type 1 diabetes (T1D), hypoglycemia is common and sometimes serious. Anecdotal reports suggest that dogs can detect hypoglycemia in their human companions. The current study was undertaken to assess whether dogs can detect hypoglycemia by scent alone.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The study was approved by the Human Institutional Review Board and the Animal Care and Use Committee at Legacy Research Institute (Portland, OR). Three patients with T1D were enrolled (age 25–57 years; duration of diabetes 2–21 years; none were hypoglycemic unaware). These people were unfamiliar to the dogs that were studied. For each of two hypoglycemic periods (capillary blood specimens ≤60 mg/dL), each subject collected two sterile cotton swab samples by rubbing them on the skin of both arms. Additional samples were collected during two normoglycemic episodes (capillary glucose 100–150 mg/dL). This procedure was chosen …