How Seizure Alert Dogs Become Unstoppable Service Animals

Seizure alert dogs are specially trained to help individuals who have epilepsy or a seizure disorder. They can warn a person of an impending seizure hours before the person has clinical signs of a seizure. These dogs lick their owner’s hands, bark at the owner’s face or act restless and pace back and forth before the onset of a person’s seizure. Having one of these four-footed angels around can easily save the life of an adult or child with a seizure disorder. They also provide today’s caregivers the peace of mind in knowing that another set of watchful, caring eyes is always alert to the imminent distress of a seizure-prone child or adult.

What They Do

In addition to warning caregivers and anyone else around them that a seizure-prone child or adult is about to experience a life-threatening attack, seizure alert dogs can perform a number of life-saving duties. Certified Service Dog Trainer, Canines 4 Hope notes that their dogs will seek the help of a nearby person, activate a medical alert or pre-programmed phone, even remove potentially dangerous objects away from the downed individual. These dogs can also prevent individuals with absence seizures and complex partial seizures from walking into crosswalks, obstacles and other danger-prone areas. And they can carry information about themselves, the seizure-prone individual’s medical condition, and critically vital instructions for first responders — like emergency medications and the need for on-site oxygen.

Special Dogs, Special Training

Seizure Alert Dogs are a very special breed of life-saving animal. Even before they are trained for their unique duties and responsibilities, they are carefully selected for their job. Not just any dog makes the cut to become a Seizure Alert Dog. They must first demonstrate a heightened sensitivity to human body language and be able to sense when an individual is not behaving normally. According to Service DogCentral, only 15 percent of dogs are naturally able to predict seizures before they occur. These dogs will typically alert their owners 10-20 minutes before a seizure, enough time for the adult or child to seek a safe place, take medication, and call for help. Once selected, a potential Seizure Alert Dog is assigned to a professional service dog trainer who is highly experienced in teaching a dog when and how to use their acute sensitivity to protect a seizure prone child or adult.

How They Sense Imminent Seizures

How do these dogs know when an adult or child will suffer a seizure? As noted in Service Dogs for People with Seizure Disorders by Liz Rudy, these dogs are particularly sensitive to slight changes in a person’s body language or behavior that trigger a seizure. They’re also able to detect subtle changes in a person’s body odor before the onset of a seizure. After spending time with a seizure-prone child or adult, these dogs begin to develop an acute sense when something is wrong.

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57 comments

Sherry Kohn
Sherry K2 years ago

Many thanks to you !

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Jennifer H.
Jennifer H3 years ago

Dogs are amazing.

Dr. Rita B. what is up with your settings?

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Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you

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Barbara B.
Mrs B3 years ago

Definitely an article for me to keep in mind, thanks for sharing.

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Dr. Rita Booke
Kat G3 years ago

ty

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Dr. Rita Booke
Kat G3 years ago

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Dr. Rita Booke
Kat G3 years ago

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Dr. Rita Booke
Kat G3 years ago

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Dr. Rita Booke
Kat G3 years ago

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Dr. Rita Booke
Kat G3 years ago

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