Cocker Spaniel helps child with diabetes

Thursday, 23rd August 2012

A Cocker Spaniel has become something of a doctor after learning when his young diabetic owner needs insulin.

Steven Courtney, now nine, was diagnosed with type one diabetes when he was three and has to take insulin every day, reports the Oxford Mail.

After speaking to a representative from the charity Medial Detection Dogs, it was discovered that Molly could detect when Steven was having a hypo, where the child's blood sugar falls fatally low.

Parents Paul and Serena Courtney then signed Molly up for training and she now alerts Steven when his blood sugars are low.

Mrs Courtney said: "[Steven's] got very little awareness if he is high or low, one minute he can be running around playing and the next he’s behaving weirdly.

"But we haven't got that now as Molly gives us an early warning. It’s very reassuring."

Medical Detection Dogs trains specialist animals to detect the odour of human disease. The charity is also training cancer detection dogs that they hope will enable scientists to develop an early screening system.