Human-Canine Collaboration in Care: Doing Diabetes, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Human-Canine Collaboration in Care

Doing Diabetes, 1st Edition

By Fenella Eason


240 pages

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Hardback: 9780367227777
pub: 2019-10-15
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Adopting an anthrozoological perspective to study the participation of non-human animals in regimes of care, this book examines the use of canine scent detection to alert 'hypo-unaware' individuals to symptoms of human chronic illness. Based on ethnographic research and interviews, it focuses on the manner in which trained assistance dogs are able to use their sense of smell to alert human companions with Type 1 diabetes to imminent hypoglycaemic episodes, thus reducing the risk of collapse into unconsciousness, coma or, at worst, death. Through analyses of participant narrations of the everyday complexities of 'doing' diabetes with the assistance of medical alert dogs, the author sheds light on the way in which each human-canine dyad becomes acknowledged as a team of ‘one’ in society. Based on the concept of dogs as friends and work colleagues, as animate instruments and biomedical resources, the book raises conceptual questions surrounding the acceptable use of animals and their role within society. As such, this volume will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with interests in human-animal interactions and intersections. It may also appeal to healthcare practitioners and individuals interested in innovative multispecies methods of managing chronic illness.


"Fenella Eason’s investigation of how the chronically ill engage with medical alert assistance dogs in their daily lives serves as an example of how research can be both empirically rigorous and compassionate. It is timely, top-notch scholarship. It will inspire research in multispecies ethnography, the sociology of health and illness, anthrozoology, and anthropology." - Leslie Irvine, Professor of Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder, USA

"A novel and moving account of multi-species relationships where health and wellbeing is becoming a more-than-human accomplishment. It sets the standard for future work on animal-assisted care of chronic illness." - Hannah Brown, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Durham, UK

Table of Contents

1. Multispecies Care in Chronic Illness

2. Anthrozoological and Sociological Perspectives

3. The Canine Sense of Smell and Olfactory Acuity

4. ‘Doing’ Diabetes Type 1

5. Dogs as Biomedical Resources and Health Technologies

6. Symbiotic Practices of Care

7. Endings and ‘Ethical’ Decision-Making

About the Author

Fenella Eason is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Exeter Anthrozoology as Symbiotic Ethics (EASE) Working Group at the University of Exeter, UK.

About the Series

Multispecies Encounters

Multispecies Encounters
Multispecies Encounters provides an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion, development and dissemination of research focused on encounters between members of different species. Re-evaluating our human relationships with other-than-human beings through an interrogation of the ’myth of human exceptionalism’ which has structured (and limited) social thought for so long, the series presents work including multi-species ethnography, animal geographies and more-than-human approaches to research, in order not only better to understand the human condition, but also to situate us holistically, as human animals, within the global ecosystems we share with countless other living beings. As such, the series expresses a commitment to the importance of giving balanced consideration to the experiences of all social actors involved in any given social interaction, with work advancing our theoretical knowledge and understanding of multi-species encounters and, where possible, exploring analytical frameworks which include ways or kinds of ’being’ other than the human.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General