Diabetic alert dogs can save lives

Ellie a diabetes alert dog alerts Catlin Sutton that her blood sugar needs to be checked.

/ Greg Pioterek

Diabetes alert dogs are specially trained service animals that can tell if a diabetic persons blood sugar is too high or low. They are trained the same way bomb and drug detection dogs are trained.

Seventeen year old Catlin Sutton gets her blood sugar checked by her five and a half month old diabetes alert dog Ellie. Ellie can tell if your suger is too low because your body will smell sour, you smell sweet if your sugar is too high.

Catlin has had type one diabetes since she was twelve, and now she is preparing to go off to college her parents want the piece of mind that Catlin will a diabetes alert dog to looking after her.

But alerting Catlin to her sugar levels is just one of ways Ellie will be able to help Catlin. Her father fred Sutton says that by the time Ellie completes her training she will be able to dial 911 or get Catlin medical help.

One disadvantage to having a diabetes alert dog is one loses anonymity with having the disease. Because people see you with the dog your disease is made public. Catlin's mother Elizabth Sutton says that can be a hard choice.

Like any other piece of medical equipment Ellie doesn't come cheap. The initial cost for the dog is $14,000 and the family is still trying to raise money to pay that off. But Ellie has already been using her training to alert when Catlins sugar levels become dangerous.

And it only takes one close call to realize that owning a diabetes alert dog can be worth every penny.

Would you pay that much for peace of mind? Do you think this should be something covered by health insurance? Sound off down below.....