A Diabetic Alert Dog (or DAD) is a dog specially trained to detect dangerously low or high blood sugar levels in a person. This is done through odor detection training, which means that dogs are able to feel these important changes in the patient's blood glucose level.

When a dog reports hypoglycemia, it detects an increase in chemical isoprene. Isoprene is a common chemical that is found in the breath of all humans, but when our blood sugar goes down, our isoprene level goes up. These increases become more dramatic as glucose continues to decline. Isoprene is completely undetectable by humans, but miraculously, dogs are able to feel it.

When a dog reports high blood glucose, it detects a high concentration of ketones in the body. Ketones also affect the breathing of a human being, just like isoprene, and actually cause a fruity or sweetened breath. Detecting high blood glucose is much easier for a dog than detecting a low blood glucose level because of this smell in the breath.

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