A family dog saved a schoolboy’s life by smelling out an urgent health issue.
Thomas French, 7, is a type-1 diabetic was having food with his family when the animal began alerting his parent something was wrong.
The youngster has a special ‘Hypo Hound’ who tells him and and his family when blood sugar levels become dangerously low or high.
His blood sugar dropped at the start of the month and dropped very quickly, which could have put him in a life-threatening coma.
Around 35 minutes after Thomas ate his dinner on Saturday night Poppy the dog alerted the family that something was wrong.
When they checked Thomas’ blood glucose levels, they were 7, a good number within his range.
But Poppy would not give up and this is when her behaviour stepped up to a frantic stage. The family checked again shortly after and within moments he had gone down to 3.1, meaning Thomas was crashing dangerously.
Thomas’ mum Jennifer Whiberley told EssexLive : “She launched herself off the sofa at dad Jon, barking and circling him in a frantic effort to get his attention.
“Poppy is trained to alert us using her paw for Thomas to check his bloods. So we knew something was wrong, when her behaviour was so insistent.
“Thomas was crashing in his blood sugars quicker than the technology could tell us, but we have learnt to trust Poppy’s nose.
“I truly believe that she has saved Thomas from going into a life-threatening diabetic coma.”
Despite attempts from Jennifer to bring Thomas’ bloods back up, by feeding him sugary drinks and even fondant icing, nothing worked and his lips began turning blue and his cheeks faded to grey.
She added: “We don’t know what made him crash so quickly,”
“When we got taken to the hospital, they checked everything we had done for his dinner and there was no reason, which is worrying.
“I was even giving Thomas fondant icing in a desperate effort to raise his blood sugar levels. It took us six hours to get his blood levels back in range.
“I’m just so relieved we have Poppy to keep an eye on him. She allows us to sleep at night. We have learnt to absolutely trust her and never ignore when she is trying to tell us something is wrong.
“When Thomas was in the hospital, she was very restless at home that night and on Sunday, when he came home, she laid on him all day and slept – I think she was unsettled as Thomas left her smelling wrong. The bond that they share is so strong.”
Poppy came to the family in June 2021 and was trained by charity Hypo Hounds as a diabetic alert dog, the only specialist organisation for diabetics.