Medical Detection Dogs

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Health And Wellbeing Category: Animal-Related Therapies and GeneralHealth And Wellbeing Tags: alert dog, Animal Assisted Activity (AAA), animal assisted therapy, Assistance dog, Bio-detection research, get involved, living with Addison's desease, living with diabetes, Medical Detection Dogs, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS), registered charity, Type 1 diabetes, and UK

Listed by MrZamp Ampino

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  • Medical Alert Assistance Dogs are trained to help people with life-threatening health conditions, giving them greater independence and above all saving their lives on a daily basis.

    Our dogs are trained to assist individuals who manage complex health conditions. They are taught to identify the odour changes that are associated with life-threatening medical events.

    Currently the majority of our Medical Alert Assistance Dogs work with people with diabetes.

    However, we also provide alert dogs for those with other very dangerous health conditions including Addisonian crisis, which causes severe pain, convulsions and unconsciousness which lead to collapse and hospitalisation; and severe allergic responses. We continue to investigate other debilitating and potentially fatal conditions which our dogs may have the ability to help.

    We have trained dogs to work with people with Type 1 diabetes with hypo unawareness and Addison’s, a disease of the adrenal gland. For those with Addison’s Disease the onset of an Addisonian Crisis, where the adrenal gland has failed to create adequate levels of cortisol, can mean severe pain, convulsions and unconsciousness which lead to collapse and hospitalisation. Our dogs are able to detect minute changes that indicate a potential crisis and alert the client to the need for medication.

    Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS).

    Postural Tachycardia Syndrome As with all our work, our dogs detect minute changes in the odour, related to factors governed by the particular condition, and when they sense the change they alert the client to the impending, medical event. People living with PoTS often suffer severe and dangerous blackouts and our dogs can give them time to get to safety before they fall unconscious.

    Nut allergy For many people just breathing in air-borne nut allergens, such as might be found in a kitchen after someone has opened a packet of peanuts, is enough to trigger a life-threatening anaphylaxic episode. Medical Detection Dogs is training dogs to detect the air-borne allergens in an environment and then alert the client to the presence before they come into contact with the allergic trigger. Unlike all our other alert dogs, these detection dogs are sensing the minute odours in the air, rather than the odours coming off the client. We currently have two nut-allergy dogs working for clients.

    Bio-detection research areas:
    Urological cancers
    Breast Cancer
    Exploring the possibility that the dogs can detect a number of other cancers and diseases, including:
    Lung cancer
    Bowel cancer
    Animal cancers
    Malaria
    Parkinson’s Disease

    We are also carrying out research, alongside our Medical Alert Assistance Dogs, into other diseases that dogs might be able to detect from scent.

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