SuperGlucoDog is a project by Servier Bulgaria that was conceptualised and implemented in the country with the sole aim of improving the quality of life of Bulgarian patients with diabetes and their families through the financing of highly-specialized training of assistance dogs capable of discovering hypoglycemic crises up to 15 minutes before electronic devices. Hypoglycemia is a condition of sudden drop in blood sugar, which can have serious repercussions for the health and life of the patient. Main users of trained dogs are children with diabetes as they are at the highest risk of life-threatening hypoglycemic crises at night.
Project Target Group
SuperGlucoDog is a project for all patients with diabetes. The project is implemented by Servier in partnership with the Eyes on Four Paws Foundation whose highly qualified instructors execute the assistance dogs’ training, and with the active involvement of endocrinologists and patients organisations who are the first port of call for patients with diabetes and promote the service to ensure that it reaches as many potential users as possible.
SuperGlucoDog was launched 3 years ago. Over this period, five fully trained dogs already live with their new owners, working for them 24/7 as invaluable members of the families of patients with diabetes, blessing them with safety and peace of mind. The project continues in 2021, and a new group of Labradors is currently in training in order to change the lives of other diabetic people for the better.
In 2018, Servier made a video about the first assistance dog of a diabetic child and thus demonstrated for the first time the benefit of the relationship between man and dog in the context of diabetes. Two explanatory videos followed, revealing the different points of view of the parties involved:
- families of children with diabetes and the difficulties accompanying the radical change in their lives;
- medical specialists treating diabetic patients;
- instructors responsible for the one-year training of the Labradors.
The videos are accessible on the websites of Servier and the Eyes on Four Paws Foundation, as well as in various channels of patient organisations.
SuperGlucoDog was promoted to the general public through a media event on 30 September 2020, which was widely publicized by printed, TV and online media. Among its guests were public figures, representatives of state institutions, physicians, families of diabetic children. In order to promote the partnership between Servier and the Eyes on Four Paws Foundation, a booklet was published in 5000 copies and disseminated via medical specialists to patients with diabetes and by the Foundation to potential users of trained
Users of that free service have revealed the following:
- Due to fear of nocturnal hypoglycemic crises, parents of diabetic children take turns sleeping at night – one parent always keeping an eye on the readings of the electronic devices measuring blood sugar levels. After the dog joins the family, parents are able to go back to their normal life, and tension drops.
- Hypoglycemic episodes, particularly in children, become rarer and milder;
- Children develop a strong emotional attachment to their assistance dog, who becomes their best friend being around them day and night;
- The atmosphere in the home lightens up and parents see the dog as an equal family member, which in turn strengthens the emotional climate in the family community.