Seizure response dog

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A seizure response dog is a dog who is specially trained to help its owner during a seizure. These dogs' jobs may include:[1]

  • Getting help, by finding a human, hitting an alarm, or using a pre-programmed phone to call 911
  • Protecting their owner from getting hurt, either by pulling unsafe things away, or by blocking people who try to walk into obstacles and onto streets
  • Bracing the person having the seizure so they don't fall or hurt themselves, or turning the person on their side
  • Waking the unconscious owner during or after a seizure

Certain kinds of dogs are able to predict that a person is about to have an epileptic seizure. This gives the person time to get to a safe place before the seizure starts. Usually, people say that dogs develop this behavior spontaneously (on their own), or over some time. There have been some studies where dogs were trained to alert to seizures when they were given rewards for correctly predicting seizures - but these studies were only partly successful.[2][3] Some untrained dogs may help their owners during a seizure, but there are also reports of dogs that have reacted aggressively or even died as a result of witnessing or anticipating their owner's seizure.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Questions and Answers About Seizure Dogs". Epilepsy Foundation. 2002-08-19. Retrieved 2006-05-30.
  2. "All About Seizure Dogs". Epilepsy Foundation. 2001-12-01. Retrieved 2006-05-30.
  3. Strong V, Brown S, Walker R (1999). "Seizure-alert dogs--fact or fiction?". Seizure 8 (1): 62–5. doi:10.1053/seiz.1998.0250. PMID 10091851.
  4. Strong V, Brown S (2000). "Should people with epilepsy have untrained dogs as pets?". Seizure 9 (6): 427–30. doi:10.1053/seiz.2000.0429. PMID 10986001.