Seizure Alert Dogs
Types of Seizures
There are a variety of types of seizures, and each type has its own pattern of presentation. Some seizures, including many temporal lobe seizures, are characterized by a gradual escalation of seizure activity. This extended onset before the seizure begins to present visibly provides an opportunity for a dog to recognize the scent cue and alert, thereby providing advance notice of a seizure. In contrast to temporal lobe seizures, frontal love seizures tend to strike quickly like lightning, and do not provide a dog time to alert before the handler begins to show physical symptoms. However, in cases where seizure activity builds very quickly, the dogs can still be trained to alert during the seizure. In these situations, the dog is often taught to go and find another family member when his handler has a seizure.
Every case is unique depending on the types of seizures the person seeking an assistance dog experiences. Due to the wide variety of factors involved in determining how a dog can best assist the affected party, we will need to speak to you and your neurologist to gain a complete understanding of your seizures. This allows us to determine what is possible, how to train to dog to assist most effectively, and to set realistic expectations for the type of assistance a dog can provide.
Our dogs are also trained to assist after a seizure. This is often referred to as “seizure response” training. The dogs are trained to locate and retrieve a phone for their handler to call for help if needed, or even to dial a specialized assistance dog phone, which allows the dog to call for help by pressing a button. This means the dog can call for help even if the affected party is unconscious. Dogs are also trained to help brace of balance their handler for stability after a seizure, retrieve medication, provide deep pressure therapy, or in certain cases recipients will ask that the dog be trained to retrieve a family member in another room.
Seizure Assistance and Alert Dogs for Children and Infants
Due to our alert game, we can train the dog to alert a parent that their child is going to have a seizure. No more worrying! It is such a relief for parents to know when their child is having a seizure.