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What Is River Doing?


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When we first adopted River, she seemed to love our "Morning Lovies" routine. If I wanted to sleep in, that meant when DH's alarm went off, I could not open my eyes or talk :lol otherwise, it was time to get ponced on by a very ZOMGSOHAPPYTOSEEYOU River. Usually, she has her head right on the bed almost nose to nose with me. Wiggling like she is going to explode, a quiet whine being emitted. Just waiting for my eyes to open so that she can pounce. This is her normal morning routine. Alarm goes off and she is waiting like TNT with legs for me to wake up.

 

The past few weeks, though, she has occasionally woken us up before the alarm by whining & barking. And now that our bedroom is downstairs, she can easily get to DH's side of the bed. At first, we thought that because she had access to his side, she was wanting to do her morning pounce on him. Nope. When she is drawn to his side of the bed, she almost sounds agitated and frantic in her whining. She isn't waiting for the alarm. This behavior is happening before the alarm. She will poke at him until he is awake. It's not always a consistent time that she is doing this, either. It's not because she has to go potty, nor that she is starving.

 

This morning, I started wondering what she might be really doing.....

 

DH is Diabetic. Last week, when River did her frantic wake up, DH growled "River shut up!" She only became more frantic and in his face. He sat up and that was when I noticed that his pillow was damp. He mumbled that he had to go to the bathroom. When he came back to bed, he was shuffling his feet. I asked if he was okay and he said that he "just stood up too fast."

 

This morning was another frantic wake up call by River. DH's pillow was damp again.

 

Could River possibly have a natural skill at detecting when his sugar is dropping? And know to be alarmed by the change enough to want to wake us up? I know that the breath changes when a diabetic's sugar spikes or crashes severely. I think, also, the sweat changes odor, but not sure on that one.

 

Lately, DH has been having a more difficult time regulating his sugar. He's recently started spreading out his breakfast & lunch at work so that he has oatmeal in the AM, 2 hours later he has fruit or yogurt, 2 hours later is lunch, 2 hours later is another small snack and then 2-3 hours later is dinner when he is home. This has helped greatly in keeping him level during the day. BUT now that I think about it, he's been frustrated by a few pounds that he's gained. Because he has spread out his daytime food intake, he's often omitted his night time snack because he is worried about calories and/or carbs.

 

After today when the pieces started forming an interesting picture, I asked him if he often has had night sweats the nights/early mornings that River is waking us up... particularly time times that she is choosing to go after him to wake up. He said that thinking back, yes, his pillow is damp the times she goes after him.

 

DH is going to start keeping his testing kit & a small notepad right by the bed. He's agreed to TRY to not grouse at River if she wakes him up, but instead to test his sugar and feel his pillow. I am curious to see what, if any, pattern emerges. Could she be a natural at sensing diabetic hypoglycemia? Or is she just being a brat.

 

Has anyone had a greyhound/sighthound that could detect this? And IF this is what is happening, and NO I am not the furnace in bed <_< (He likes to tease that I am having a hotflash making him sweat), then besides making sure he adds a high protein snack back in, not sure what we'd do next. Get her formal training?

Edited by Gryffenne
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YES YES YES!! I had a little brindle girlie that usually slept in my friend's room. One night, she was going to be gone so I slept in her room with the dogs. Usually when my sugar level drops too low at night, it wakes me up because I start shaking. About 3 in the morning, she started crying and pawing at me until I sat up. I felt dizzy and started to shake so I check my blood sugar. It was 35!! Way too low. I leep glucose next to the bed so I started chewing on them. As soon as she saw that I was awake and doing something, she went back to sleep. I didn't sleep in the same room as her after that and she passed away a few months later. I often wonder if she could have been trained as a diabetic alert dog.

 

 

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Guest normaandburrell

It is well documented that some dogs can smell cancers in humans. Elevated blood sugar gives a fruity smell to the breath. I think it is very reasonable (and very exciting!) to believe that your dog can detect this.

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DH is going to start keeping his testing kit & a small notepad right by the bed. He's agreed to TRY to not grouse at River if she wakes him up, but instead to test his sugar and feel his pillow. I am curious to see what, if any, pattern emerges. Could she be a natural at sensing diabetic hypoglycemia?

 

Try not to? DH should be rewarding her for doing it once he confirms his blood sugar is low! You guys might want to reach out to local service dog agencies and see if anyone will work with you on training her to do this reliably. It could save his life.

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"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Try not to? DH should be rewarding her for doing it once he confirms his blood sugar is low! You guys might want to reach out to local service dog agencies and see if anyone will work with you on training her to do this reliably. It could save his life.

Once he confirms it, yes! :lol Getting woken up at 4am, first reaction is usually (straight into pillow while half asleep) "Go back to bed, River!" I am pretty much sure, between the sweating, dizziness, and headaches that he wakes up to, that there is something to her doing this. Even without seeing the numbers. Like I said, her "normal" routine is TNT on legs until the alarm goes off. That triggers HER to go off and begin her morning lovefest. The abnormal routine happens randomly at night. Although, looking at day notes, I am seeing about 9 hours after he last ate something (like if he had a late dinner, or a small snack at 7 pm...4 am // late snack at 10pm on Friday night, 7am she was on him. We first thought because during the week, we are up at that time. First Saturday in weeks we could sleep in, the alarm was set for 9am) So maybe it isn't so "random" after all. :huh

 

 

As soon as she saw that I was awake and doing something, she went back to sleep.

 

YES! Another difference between her "normal" and "abnormal" routines! With her normal one, waking up/sitting up only encourages her to wiggle, squirm and love on me more. With the routine in question, us sitting up and talking, or going to the bathroom causes her to lay back down and fall back to sleep. Maybe she sees it as "doing something about it"?

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PUdge woke me up several times. I too am a diabetic. I ignored her with the first incident. After that I checked my sugar when she woke me and it was low. I am not insulin-dependent so the low readings were unusual for me.

 

Your DH needs to listen to "Dr. River" ;)

 

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