Dogs trained to detect blood sugar levels in diabetics -

Service dogs help detect diabetes

"Jagger" is the newest member of Brittany Forster's household, arriving from the Guardian Angel Service Dog program. His trainer, James Faulkner, is from Virginia. 

"We train the dogs to alert to the fluctuations of blood sugars. What will happen is when a diabetic's blood sugar will get high or low, they will either bark, whine or let the diabetic or family member know," said Faulkner.

He said the dog can literally smell the change.

"They can actually pick up on the scent 20 to 45 minutes before the meter can actually detect it," said Faulkner.

As Brittany bonds with Jagger, her family remembers a day when Brittany had a close call when her sugar number skyrocketed. She was in the hospital for a while. Her mom, Alisha Acuna, still checks her throughout the night, fearing the worst. 

"Nightly I still get up at 2:00 in the morning to test her, because I'm scared that she could drop and go into a diabetic coma or have a seizure," said Acuna.

But with the addition of Jagger, she hopes for the best. 

"I expect the dog to save her life," she said.

Brittany said she's afraid of dying, but she is also hopeful Jagger will be her lifeline to her future. 

"He's with me all day and I already love him," said Brittany.

Because Jagger is only 12 weeks old, he'll still be in fine shape by the time she goes off to college.

Brittany's parents said another fear is when their daughter gets old enough to drive. But with Jagger's early diagnostic nose, they'll be able to breathe a little easier.

Faulkner said they will talk with the family every week and visit periodically to make sure Jagger stays on point.

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