diabetic assistance dog for a hypo unaware child?

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JENN MORROW Posted: Fri, Nov 16 2012 5:16 PM

Our family was considering getting a dog this summer and our daughter was just diagnosed with type 1.  She never feels her lows coming on.  Is it appropriate for us to get her an assistance dog?  We would not intend to send the dog to school with her, it would be more of a family dog for us.  thanks

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RobertIA replied on Fri, Nov 16 2012 6:00 PM

While it may be appropriate, I would ask the approximate age of your daughter.  Since I have some blogs about diabetes assistance dogs, I will suggest reading these http://diabetesalertdogs.blogspot.com/2009/10/diabetes-alert-dogs-part-2.html and http://diabetesalertdogs.blogspot.com/2010/08/diabetes-alert-dogs-part-3.html.   These may not answer all your questions and the trainer you select will depend on the area of the country you live in. 

If your daughter is old enough then it may appropriate to talk to the school.

Before spending this amount of money, a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) should be considered.  It has alarms for both highs and lows and is considerably less expensive than a trained dog.  If you have medical insurance - CGMs are generally covered where presently you need a prescription for a service dog and then you can only deduct expenses as a medical expense over the limits set on your tax return.

An untrained pet is just your expense.

Type 2 (10/2003)   Lantus and Novalog   Now added Metformin      Retired


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again - depending on your child's age - you might also consider a kitty -especially if it's primarily for home.  To my surprise one morning I awoke with a nose in my face - the cat was there - trying to wake me up - no training - but once it did this and was rewarded - it was a forever  / no fail response. -At the time I lived alone / all my life deep sleep / early morning hypos have been a problem. Children and pets usually bond very easily [life experience / retired paediatric nurseSmile Just a thought.

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