March 17 2014 Latest news:
By Matt Hunter
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
At just 18 months Magic is already trained to alert his owner when her blood sugar level begins to drop just by his scent.
Magic is one of many medical detection dogs who are each trained to notice minute odour changes in their owners which can prevent a diabetic emergency and save a life.
His owner Claire Pesterfield, a diabetes nurse at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, who suffers from the condition herself, explains the importance of having the dog around her at all times.
She said: “If my blood sugar drops too low, which can happen very quickly, there’s a risk of unconsciousness and serious injury. Magic will alert me before that happens by jumping up to get my attention so that I test my blood.”
The Medical Detection Dogs charity train dogs like Magic, who is a Labrador x Golden Retriever to work with their owners and be ready to act 24 hours a day.
Magic has received public access training, which helps him to act more appropriately around crowds and other distractions.
Claire said that it is fine for people to touch Magic, but that they should ask permission first.
She said: “He loves a fuss as much as the next dog, but it’s important that people remember he’s working. If you can avoid distracting him, then please do, but feel free to ask me if you would like to stroke him.”
People are also asked not to offer dogs like Magic food or other treats.
With ongoing training, it is hoped that Magic will be able to not only alert Claire of an impending episode but to also bring her medical kit to her when necessary.
For more information on medical detection dogs visit www.medicaldetectiondogs.org.uk