A Sioux Falls couple's new business is going to the dogs--literally. The effort to save their own pooch from dying of diabetes has led to a new product, a patent and now international attention.
We first introduced you to Vinny, the Italian Greyhound in 2012. Vinny was diagnosed with diabetes and nearly died, until his owner, Kameron Carlson, concocted a treat in his kitchen that saved him.
"I knew it was something very special because it worked so quickly in dogs and they're type 1 diabetics," Kameron Carlson said.
Dia-Treaties, as the Carlsons called it, helped Vinny live for another five years--well past the life expectancy for his breed.
“He died on National Dog Day on August 26, 2013. We took that as a sign," Kameron Carlson said.
"I miss him, but I think he lives on. I see him in our packaging and on our website; it kind of keeps his message alive in a way," Nancy Carlson said.
Dia-Treaties have been shown to reduce the need for insulin in diabetic dogs by 15 to nearly 70 percent. The Carlsons just received a patent on their product. Now they've just been featured in Guideposts Magazine, which is distributed around the world. In just two days since the article came out, the orders have been pouring in.
"We've had orders from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a few inquiries from England," Kameron Carlson said.
Based on Dia-Treaties, the Carlsons have also come up with a nutrition bar for people with diabetes called Nutralin.
"I have heard from so many people that buy our dog products, they have diabetes themselves or they ask about it. We've had inquiries from all over. We just feel like it's our responsibility; we have to try to help people if we have something that could do that," Nancy Carlson said.
The Carlsons are looking for a medical partner to help them get their Nutralin bars out to the public and hope to have them available to diabetics by 2015.
"It's not a cure for diabetes, but it’s a synergist combination of ingredients, long-acting fiber, short-acting fiber, spices and essential oils that all work together to keep your blood glucose in a shorter range," Kameron Carlson said.
In the meantime, the Carlsons hope to hire more people to help them keep up with a growing business--all started because of the love for a family pet.
"It works, it really works and it's a great product," Nancy Carlson said.
The Carlsons are also working on a patent on their Nutralin bars for people with diabetes.