Seizure-Alert Dogs

As the name suggests,
seizure-alert dogs can detect an oncoming seizure in people and warn them so
they can take precautions. To people with epilepsy or other convulsive
disorders, a seizure-alert dog can mean the difference between a normal life
and isolation. What exactly the dogs alert to remains a mystery. It could be
subtle changes in behavior or odor or it could be something different
altogether. Because we don’t know this yet, seizure-alert dogs have to be
tested for the ability before they can be trained as service dogs. Reports
suggest the ability can develop over time in dogs living with people who suffer
from seizures, but there’s no guarantee. However, some dogs reliably alert to
seizures by whining, pawing, pacing, or barking persistently. They can serve as
canine early warning systems, giving the seizing person time to take medication
or lie down in a safe place.

 Seizure-Alert Dog

Both seizure-alert dogs
and seizure-response dogs (service dogs that don’t alert before a seizure) are
trained to do many other helpful things. They might get help, activate an alarm
during an episode, or fetch a telephone. For more information, visit the
websites of service dog organizations like Pet Partners or Assistance Dogs
International.

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