Dog Smells Out Glucose Levels

(NBC/WRCB) - Liam Kelly, a 14-year-old diabetic, arrived for his training session with his service dog Max. The black lab has a built-in glucose monitor, his nose.

"I personally won't know where I'm at, but someone I can rely on and trust will know," said Kelly.

Liam was diagnosed with type one diabetes last year and is insulin dependent. He requires around the clock glucose monitoring.

By jumping up, and pawing his chest, Max is telling him to test his blood, because his blood sugar is either too low or too high. Max knows all by the scent of Liam's breath.

"Dropping down to a low, to a dog it smells like a metal bucket. A real acetone type smell. The highs are real sugary real different," said Ron Pace, a Dog Trainer.

Pace has trained police and drug sniffing dogs for 30 years. He trained this diabetic service dog a similar way.

"Teaching a dog to use it's nose, it just depends what you want it to find," said Pace.

Liam tests his blood, and finds out Max was right.

During the exercise, Max picks up on another diabetic sitting on the couch. Ken Running, who also suffers from type one diabetes came to watch the training session. Glucose monitors have failed him, and he's looking for help.

"In the last four months, I've been in a coma three times and the hospital once," said Running.

"After you get done with it, the bond between you and your dog is stronger than any bond you've probably ever had with an animal," said Kelly.

We were unable to find any programs in this area that train glucose dogs, but the Dog Assistance Academy does work to provide free assistance to people with disabilities. It is a partnership between Goodwill and McKamey.

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