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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So Bob helped me big in figuring out a good way to mess around with teaching Annie diabetes detection with my son. Wipe off sweat when my kid is too high/too low with a sterile gauze pad and use that as a primary training aid. Diabetics sweat a lot--even my 3 y.o. kid looks like he's been in the desert if he's high at night and he's in blankets--so this strikes me as pretty easy to obtain. I'll take my time with it, in any case.

But in terms of isolating/handling scent...what are efficient ways of handling scent without contaminating it? Assume that Ive got a latex glove on and have swabbed my kid's neck (diabetics, at least my diabetic, sweat heavily here). How long with that "scent" last for dog detection work? Can I freeze it to make that last longer? Etc. Bob has already suggested some stuff on PM but I figured, what the hell, throw it up on the board because it's at least interesting to me.

Many thanks to Bob for getting me started on this. There are a couple of different things I will try with Annie relative to diabetes detection work but I need to get her handler-induced spazziness evened out first.
 

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In my opinion sweat is not a good way to do this. It will have way to many differing scents (it is a way of getting rid of impurities) depending on what the kid is eating and drinking.

The few things I have seen on TV or the net about this kind of detection have looked like complete crap to me. I hear about it all the time, but then again a lot of people talk about fight drive. I feel about the same for detection like this.

Any chance in hell you would have of accomplishing this is to specifically isolate mass quantities of the genetic component that makes diabetes.


Normally, a scent pad can be frozen in a plastic bag and it should keep far a few months. I think the jury is still out as far as how long before things go wrong, but I have not read up on it in a couple years.



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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nah, I've seen demonstrations of a dog alerting on a diabetic. They actually have very high detection rates. I can smell ketones on my kids' breath; that will carry over to sweat. No question. My concern is contaminating it by not gathering it/handling it correctly.
 

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I just happen to see a special about this on tv the other night. The family had a set of twins and were using a lab that had been trained using the sweat as you stated for scenting in the training.
The father credited the dog with maybe saving one of the girls life. Because he alerted hours before the father said he would have checked her and her insulin level was at 39. It should be around 100 or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
39 is not good. Very dangerous for kids, really can affect brain development. Normal human range is around 80-120...we keep Patrick a bit higher because toddlers drop out fast (if he is exercising and has insulin kicking in he will drop 250 points in a half-hour or so). We have been lucky with Patrick...not so many lows, a few dozen...but he's hit 55 and stuff and it is very scary.

That is one of the things I can't piece together, is whether they are teaching dogs to alert on the presence (yes or no) of particular chemicals or certain levels of chemicals.
 

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Patrick Cheatham said:
I just happen to see a special about this on tv the other night. The family had a set of twins and were using a lab that had been trained using the sweat as you stated for scenting in the training.
The father credited the dog with maybe saving one of the girls life. Because he alerted hours before the father said he would have checked her and her insulin level was at 39. It should be around 100 or so.
I didn't see that. Do you by any chance remember if it was one of the Dogs4Diabetes dogs?
 

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Woody Taylor said:
... That is one of the things I can't piece together, is whether they are teaching dogs to alert on the presence (yes or no) of particular chemicals or certain levels of chemicals.
Heaven Scent Paws has classes for training diabetes alert dogs. Maybe they're a source of this info.

Since they train for both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, it sounds like "level of" rather than "presence of." (I'm guessing.)

I read in the lit of one of them (I think Dogs4Diabetes) that only about 3 out of 10 service dogs were trainable as diabetes-alert dogs.

But as you know, so far (I think) there's not much in the way of scientific proof of how the dogs do this. The University of Florida's research concluded that yes, some dogs can do this with an almost-100% success rate, but that they still were not sure of how the dogs did it. Is there still some question about whether it's scent or possibly electrical activity in the brain or body?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Connie Sutherland said:
Since they train for both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, it sounds like "level of" rather than "presence of." (I'm guessing.)
Which is another complication, I guess. It will be fun to mess around with it.
 

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Woody Taylor said:
Connie Sutherland said:
Since they train for both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, it sounds like "level of" rather than "presence of." (I'm guessing.)
Which is another complication, I guess. It will be fun to mess around with it.
I agree; very interesting.

Editing to say that I would absolutely give it a try, myself. Even if Jeff is correct and it's a bust, what are you out?
 

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If you can smell it, have the kid breath into a gauze pad when you can smell it. stick the pad into a freezer bag and into the freezer. This is how it is preserved. Might want to put one during the normal times so you can proof the dog with it. Not really the technical terms I wanted to use, but they are on the tip of my tongue and I cannot get them to my brain right now.

Is the dog with the kids so often that she would be able to make a difference?



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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Jeff Oehlsen said:
Is the dog with the kids so often that she would be able to make a difference?
Yes, she is physically close to the kid about 40-50% of the day. This would be more of a lark for me than any full-time service animal. Not something we would rely on.

Wondering if swabbing the kid's mouth with a sterile Q-Tip would be enough? Bob or anybody? Think saliva is a better or worse medium than sweat?
 
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Doumentations abound about dogs detecting epilepsy minutes before it happens, or even the presence of cancer cells. It's an uncanny ability that is not trained into the dog. The dog just knows. Observed reactions on the dog were whining and being too protective of the child. Is it because that dog is so close or well-bonded with the child that it can detect irregularities?

I know of a handler who works military dogs and one day in training, the dogs appeared restless and were simply off. The dogs were to do long send-outs which was no big deal but they seem to just go thru the motion and immediately return to their handler. The trainer noticed and asked the handler if he was alright and the handler revealed he was in pain for flesh wounds sustained after a previous day accident. No wonder the dogs were too protective of their handler. Anyway, we all know we're dealing with a form of intelligence that man had made use since recorded history.

Just a thought in the hope that something can be derived from it.

Best regards...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Good, thanks Jeff, I will look.
 

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Woody Taylor said:
Jeff Oehlsen said:
Is the dog with the kids so often that she would be able to make a difference?
Yes, she is physically close to the kid about 40-50% of the day. This would be more of a lark for me than any full-time service animal. Not something we would rely on.

Wondering if swabbing the kid's mouth with a sterile Q-Tip would be enough? Bob or anybody? Think saliva is a better or worse medium than sweat?
Sweat or saliva? The breath smell tells me there is definately a chemical reaction. Whether it starts in the saliva or the sweat first is something mayby a doctor could tell you.
I would expect saliva to break down faster because of it's play in digestion.
Possibly a doctor could give you that answer.
 
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Specimens may get contaminated, may decompose and hence may only give unpredictable results. But a distress signal from a distressed child will not escape a creature that's even known to know at a glance the state of his handler's soul. This remarkable capabilities born out of devotion to its handler are often only realized when it's too late. A child is regarded as the world's best handler for in his yet uncorrupted state of mind, is able to, without doubt or question, honestly communicate with a dog.

Just my $0.02 opinion...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Jeff Oehlsen said:
Read them. Really interesting, thank you. Hadn't considered the garden pressure sprayer idea (that training method Ed refers to that the tracking guy thinks is a waste), that's different. Wonder if that would allow you to lay different scents for your dog other than your own to track (like, I take a pair of your natty socks and make some perfume to lay down on a trail).

We could have a clothing exchange here on the forum. Sounds disgusting. I'm on it. I have always wanted to track David Frost. David, send me your patrol hat so I can soak it in water and make a Frosty.
 
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