Gypsy the dog is a hero after waking her owner up from a diabetic coma

Pam and Gypsy
Gyspy saved Pam’s life (Picture: Spalding Today / SWNS)

A gran is lucky to be alive after her quick-thinking dog woke her up from a potentially fatal diabetic coma.

69-year-old Pam Mansfield bought her German Shepherd Gypsy in 2013, when the dog was six weeks old. Pam, who runs a rescue centre for exotic pets, has Type 1 diabetes , which causes her to have sudden hypoglycaemic attacks if her blood sugar levels reach dangerously high or low levels.

If not treated with insulin quickly enough, the lack of oxygen to the brain can cause her to fall into a coma.

Scarily, she almost slipped into a coma in the early hours of Monday morning.

Gypsy has never been trained to detect the signs, however she brought Pam around by licking her face and barking. Pam, a widow who has two children and two grandchildren, was in bed asleep at her home in Spalding, but at 4am she became aware of Gypsy trying to wake her.

A vet told Pam that Gypsy would have smelt ketones, a substance created if the body does not get enough glucose, on her breath.

Pam cuddling Gypsy
Pam almost fell into a diabetic coma (Picture: Spalding Today / SWNS)

Why do they do that? When dogs kick after going to the bathroom, they are using the scent glands on their paws to further mark their territory.

She said: ‘I woke up with the dog standing over, trying to lick my face and crying and pushing up me and pushing me trying to get me to wake up. I thought, what the hell’s going on.

‘She would not give up she just kept going on and on and pushing and licking and everything and I realised then, as I woke up, that I was not feeling right.

‘It’s one of the worse ones I have ever had. I have not had one that caused me to wake up in the middle of the night.

‘I don’t even know why because I didn’t think I should have been hungry or didn’t have enough food inside me.

‘I don’t know what caused it but she woke me up and then she sat next to me on the bed. I wanted to go to the toilet but she didn’t let me leave the bed.

‘She is so responsive and protective of me, I have never had a dog like her. I love her to bits.

‘She means the world to me and that moment put the icing on the cake.

‘If Gypsy had not woken me I would have died.’

Pam keeps a bar of chocolate by her bed after suffering from a night-time hypoglycaemic attack on a previous occasion.

After eating some of the chocolate she felt much better but says if Gypsy had not been there she may never have woken up.

Make Training More Fun by Switching Up The Rewards. Instead of just giving praise for a new trick add some yummy treats or a game of tug as the reward. By changing the rules & rewards you’re keeping training sessions more fun & exciting for both you & your dog.

She added: ‘She got on the bed and would not leave me. I went downstairs for a drink and she followed me.

‘It took me four hours to get over it. I was really wobbly and Gypsy would not leave me alone.

‘I have never had such a perceptive dog. She seems to know me very well.

‘She has had a lot of fuss. Everyone has been loving her since and think she’s a real celebrity.’

The Fix

The daily lifestyle email from

Find out more