Franklin family training pet as diabetic alert dog

Franklin family training pet as diabetic alert dog (Image 1)
Franklin family training pet as diabetic alert dog (Image 1)

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) – A Franklin family is hoping their pet dog can learn a new trick.

Teddy is part of a pilot program teaching pets to become alert dogs for diabetics. In this case, Teddy is learning to alert the family if 9-year-old Leo Mackey is about to have a hypoglycemic episode. That is a dangerous dip in blood sugar levels that can cause a seizure or coma.

Diabetic alert dogs are usually trained and then placed with a family, but Ann Walling at Borderland Farms in Franklin is working with families' existing pets.

Walling, who raised a child with diabetes, told The Tennessean an alert dog is not meant to replace other precautionary measures, such as glucose sensors.

She called having an alert dog “another tool in the arsenal.”

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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