Medical Alert Dogs
Medical alert dogs can fulfill a variety of needs depending on an individual's diagnosis. At SIT we place several different types of medical alert dogs:
Medical Alert for respiratory disorders
Patients who are diagnosed with a respiratory disease such as severe asthma or COPD can benefit from a medical alert dog. Medical Alert Dogs in these cases can be trained to remind a client to check his/her oxygen level, shortness of breathe, or medication levels. In addition, the dogs can retrieve medication, go for help, wake up a person suffering from poor breathing, or alert others to an ongoing medical emergency. Clients who are a part of a medical alert team generally also choose to have the dog carry essential medications to keep these items within reach at all times.
Medical Alert for conditions causing weakness, chronic pain, and loss of consciousness
Individuals who have been diagnosed with a disorder causing weakness, chronic pain, or loss consciousness that greatly impacts their daily life can be assisted by a medical alert dog. In this case, applications are evaluated for the specific needs of each client. For instance, a client with orthostatic intolerance who may experience dizziness when standing, would need a medical alert dog trained to provide stability/balance, retrieve medication and/or go for help should a fall occur.
Diabetic Alert Dogs
Diabetic Alert Dogs are trained to alert to high/low blood glucose levels. The dogs do this by 'smelling' their person and detecting diabetic ketoacidosis. Generally, diabetic alert dogs can alert to a swing in blood glucose level before it becomes debilitating.