September 20 2014 Latest news:
Adam Gretton, Health correspondent
Friday, August 1, 2014
Becki Bailey thought she knew everything about her dog Lulu after rehoming the Staffordshire Bull Terrier seven years ago.
The diabetic, from Norwich, spoke of her surprise after realising that her beloved pet had a hidden talent after she began warning her when her blood sugar levels dropped dangerously low.
The 29-year-old, of Wingfield Road, has worked hard to control her glucose levels after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 11 years ago. However, when she became pregnant, she found it more difficult to prevent hypoglycaemia from happening.
The diabetic, who has to prick her fingers seven times a day to test her blood sugar levels, said she could not believe that Lulu could sense that she was having a hypo before she knew.
Miss Bailey, who is now 36 weeks pregnant, said her dog came to her aid the first time in April.
“My partner was away training and I had got home and was sitting on the sofa and she jumped on the sofa and kept nudging me and whining and biting my clothes. After ten minutes I gave up and stood up and the room began to spin. I tested my blood and it was quite dangerously low.”
“Since then it has happened a handful of times and I had not been aware my blood sugar level was low and I have picked up that she is warning me. It is always when I am on my own. When other people are around, she realises that she is not needed,” she said.
Miss Bailey and her partner Darren Tortice are looking forward to the birth of their first child and she is set to be admitted to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on August 13 to be induced for labour.
Miss Bailey, who works with people with learning difficulties, was working in a care home seven years ago when she overheard someone talking about trying to re-home some puppies and Lulu came into her life.
She is a regular user of the diabetes online forum Diabetes.co.uk and when she shared her story of her diabetic hypo detecting dog, her post received more than 3,000 likes in an hour.
“I was surprised. I had heard that you can get medically trained dogs, but I did not realise that dogs can pick up on hypos.” “She is a very caring dog and she had not let me be on my own. Before she used to do her own thing, but now she is very protective and she puts her head on my bump,” she said.
Miss Bailey said that Lulu was disproving the stereotype that Staffordshire Bull Terriers were bad or aggressive dogs.
She added that she feels much better knowing that she has Lulu there by her side to support her and she had always been a very obedient dog.
The charity, Medical Detection Dogs, trains medical alert assistance dogs to support people with life threatening health conditions. The theory is that they can use their acute sense of smell to sniff out the blood glucose changes through changes in the owner’s sweat or breath and warn their owners.
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