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Magic the dog visits Scotland to sniff out diabetes

A medical detection dog, aptly named Magic, is heading to Moray in Scotland on Wednesday (26th March) to display his impressive ability to ‘sniff’ out diabetes.

Published: Mar 24, 2014

Magic will be attending an event organised by life science research company AccuNostics at the Horizon Centre in the Enterprise Park in Forres.

The presentation will see Magic and an expert training team deliver a lunchtime talk to an audience of 70 healthcare professionals, local diabetes campaigners and business leaders in a bid to raise the profile of UK charity Medical Detection Dogs in Scotland. 

Magic the diabetes detection dog with Claire Moon

In Scotland alone, diabetes affects over 258,000 people according the Scottish Diabetes Survey 2012. It is estimated by NHS board, Scotland 2010 that 17% of the population is undiagnosed.

Trained in Buckinghamshire Magic, a golden Labrador, is one of only 45 in the UK. On average it costs around £11,000 and takes 18 months to train one of these animals to identify odour changes in those living with life threatening medical conditions like diabetes.

Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels) is an acute medical problem for people living with diabetes, and if it goes unnoticed the result can be fatal. With their amazing sense of smell, Magic and others like him can sense very small changes in blood sugar levels by smelling their owner’s breath and will warn their master by getting help or fetching vital medication.

Giles Hamilton, CEO at AccuNostics said: “We’re bringing Magic to Scotland to show people affected by diabetes that these amazing creatures exist and are available to them.

“It’s difficult to believe 50 years ago guide dogs for the blind were pretty much unheard of. Now they’re common. That’s what we’re hoping to emulate with Magic and that’s why we’re championing the cause.”

Currently from its state-of-the-art lab in Forres, AccuNostics’ 32 strong team of scientists and researchers are in the process of fine tuning cutting edge technology designed to improve accuracy levels and performance of blood glucose monitoring devices which are already being used by millions of people with diabetes at home, in doctor surgeries and hospitals today.

However with AccuNostics’ technology still in the development stages, medical detection dogs can make a significant contribution to the future health of people living with diabetes.

Dr Claire Guest, founder and CEO of Medical Detection Dogs said: “We’ve spent a lot of time raising our profile south of the border, and see our relationship with AccuNostics as a great opportunity to tell people our story in Scotland.

“Magic belongs to Claire Moon who is a beneficiary of the charity and is living with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 is often referred to as insulin dependent diabetes, meaning people like Claire will administer insulin injections for the rest of their lives.

“Claire’s condition leaves her pretty much unaware of her hypoglycaemic status and she is at risk of a diabetic coma or seizure.

“Her medication coupled with a healthy diet and exercise, as well as routine blood tests are helpful lifestyle choices; however with Magic, Claire now has the equivalent of a full time bodyguard who remains poised at her side, ready and waiting to help her any time she needs it. He brings peace of mind for Claire and her family and is better than any alarm.”

The presentation is designed to promote the cause and raise much needed funds to help others like Claire rest safe in the knowledge that they’re being looked after by a ‘magic’ dog just like hers.

For further information about Medical Detection Dogs visit

Representatives from Medical Detection Dogs will be speaking at two DRWF Educational Events later this year – the Diabetes Wellness Day South in Southampton on Saturday, 21st June and the Diabetes Wellness Day North East in Hartlepool on Saturday, 22nd November.

For more information on upcoming DRWF Events visit here


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