Dog Alerts Diabetic Boy When Blood Sugar Needs Testing

For about a year now, Aidan Sgandurra, 2, of Monroe, has been living with Type 1 diabetes.

His blood sugar is tested about 10 times a day and monitored so it doesn't go too high or too low.

But now, it's not just mom and dad who will be keeping an eye on Aidan.

Trooper, a 4-month-old lab, will also be helping.

Trooper is a diabetic alert dog, which is a specially trained pup that can detect fluctuations in blood sugar about 20 minutes before a normal meter can.

“He's already alerted three times that Aidan's sugar is high, so it's just been amazing,” Denise Sgandurra, Aidan’s mother, said.

That was just in the first three hours the dog was at the family's Monroe home.

“It's not going to take away from us testing him. It's actually had us test him more,” Sgandurra said. In addition to getting Trooper, the family is working with a trainer for four days.

“We do a lot of public access work, so they know how to handle them when they take him out in public, in case they run into a situation where someone says, ‘you can't have the dog here,’ going to restaurants, teaching them how to get him to behave when they're sitting down and eating, and recognizing what's an alert and what's not at this point,” said Philip Farris, a dog trainer with Warren Retrievers.

The alerts can mean the difference between life or death for someone with diabetes.