A NEW BREED OF HERO: THE BRAZILIAN SUGAR HOUND.
Highs and lows. That’s the life of a kid with diabetes. Checking blood-sugar several times a day to avoid the much feared hypoglycemia. A nocturnal menace that quickly becomes part of the family life, making parents wake up in the middle of every night to avoid a seizure or a loss of conscience.
Wouldn’t it be great if we had an alert system? Wait, we do! With about 10.000 times more olfactory capacity than humans, dogs can sense isoprene, a natural chemical released by human respiration when blood-sugar levels are really low. So they can be trained to identify imminent episodes of hypoglycemia, and also to alert its owners about it.
A project born with millions of volunteers. Street dogs are considered to be the best breed for diabetes alert dogs. Why? Because they fit all the requirements: they would do anything for a snack; they are not easily distracted by noises on the streets; they’re persistent and never-quitters. Not to mention they’re homeless and looking for a job. According to World Health Organization, in Brazil we have about 16 million of DT1 patients and 20 million of stray dogs. Unfortunately, the training of a Diabetes Alert Dogs could cost up to several thousand dollars. But what if we could do it for free?
D.O.G. Diabetes Olfactory Gadget is the project that turns street dogs into diabetes alert dogs. Here’s how it works:
1. First, we identify shelter dogs with the right set of abilities.
2. Then, the family takes home the chosen one, with a token-collar that unlocks the…
3. … training app. A sixteen-step modular course from basic obedience to the advanced diabetes alert techniques.
So, the dog gets a home, the kid gets a best friend, and life gets under control. Oh, the things we do for science…