The story of a boy living with Type 1 and his family's journey to raise and train a diabetic alert dog.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Video: Re-Alerting

Austin doesn't have a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) to tell us what direction his blood sugar is trending. This means when Bo gives an alert outside his low and high reward thresholds, we don't have a way of knowing if Bo is alerting to an impending low or high or if he is giving a false alert. To rule out a false alert, whenever Bo alerts outside his reward threshold, we wait 10- 15 minutes and re-check Austin.

We call this waiting period 'watching' because we watch Bo for a re-alert. If Bo re-alerts within 10-15 minutes and Austin's blood sugar is in Bo's reward range, we consider the alert valid and reward Bo. If after 15 mins it's still outside his reward range, we consider it a false alert and we put Bo on his place.

Tonight at 7:15 pm, Bo alerted 12 minutes after Austin gave himself a post meal bolus. (This means he gave insulin after he finished eating rather than before he started eating.) We checked and Austin's blood sugar was 136; he had 8 units of insulin on board that was working on the 120 grams of carbs he had just consumed. I told Bo we would 'watch' and put him on place to the left of Austin. (As seen in the above photo.)

After just 8 minutes Bo got broke place and re-alerted to me. Again, I told him we were going to watch and put him back on place. At 7:30 pm, exactly 15 minutes from his original alert to the 136, Bo re-alerted. When we checked, Austin's blood sugar was 209. (This number is within his high reward range of 173-220, so Bo got rewarded for the alert. The pup was ahead of the meter.)

I captured the re-alert in the video below. You see Bo break place to come and alert. He also barks when I ask, 'what is he?' It's important to note barking is not part of his alert chain and is not a desired behavior.

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