Seizure Alert/Response Dogs

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seizure response dog

While researching epilepsy I was surprised to learn that approximately fifteen percent of dogs are able to predict seizures before they occur. On average, these predictions or alerts are made 10-20 minutes before the seizure, giving the person with the seizure disorder an opportunity to move to a safe place, take medication, call for help, or notify friends or family of the impending seizure.

No one really knows how these dogs are able to detect when a seizure is about to occur. There are two theories. first, that the dog is able to smell minute changes in the person’s biochemistry, possibly in their blood chemistry or second, that they are able to detect fine motor changes imperceptible to humans. Regardless of how, this behavior naturally occurs in some dogs.

Other dogs, called seizure response dogs, are trained to perform tasks during or following a seizure to assist the owner. These tasks may include rolling the person to create an open airway, clearing vomit from the mouth, operating a call button or k9 phone, blocking the person with postictal disorientation from stairs & intersections, helping the person to rise, helping with postictal balance issues, or guiding the disoriented person to a preset location or person. Because these response tasks are so useful, most seizure alert dogs are also trained in response work. These dual seizure dogs are called “seizure alert/response dogs”.

I want to share a video with you of a seizure response dog named Poppy at work. Poppy gave her huMom Shannon a fifteen minute warning of this seizure starting. Shannon then got herself to a safe place & set up her camera. Poppy licks her mouth excessively for two reasons. First to help Shannon come around quicker and second to lick away excess saliva to help prevent her choking.

But I must warn you that some may find this upsetting to watch so please use discretion. Seeing someone have a seizure is never easy to witness.

CEO Olivia

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4 thoughts on “Seizure Alert/Response Dogs

  1. Hi my name is Carmen. I am doing a research paper for my college writing class on seizure alert/response dogs and how they are effective. I wanted to know if I could possibly interview you about Poppy and HuMom Shannon. It would be over email and only be about 10 questions. If you would like to participate, please email me or reply back to me. Thank you!

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