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Seizure dogs for epileptics.

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posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 09:38 AM
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I recently heard about these "seizure dogs" and thought, "what a good idea." Appearently, there has been little study into how these animals can detect a seizure coming on and it isn't every dog that can, but dogs CAN be trained to assist during and after a seizure.

For more info. go to these links:

www.epilepsyfoundation.org...
www.epilepsy.com...

Google also provides many other sites.




posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 09:46 AM
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Yes, I saw a documentary on these dogs in the early 90's. This is something very very special....and kind of freaky all at the same time! In the documentary I watched there was a young lady (early 20's) who was completely dysfunctional due to her extreme epilepsy (over 20 MAJOR seizures per day). Because she never knew when one was going to hit, she lived in stress and fear of the next seizure - which compounded the problem. She had no future as she could not work, could not attend school, could do nothing but stay at home and wait for the next seizure.

The video'd the day they took her to the center to pick out a dog. There were several labrador retrievers in the room. She, of course, was restricted to a wheelchair, so they just wheeled her to the middle of the room full of dogs. This one dog eventually gravitated to her and stayed there with her. In a bit, he lays his head down on her lap and shortly after this, she began to have a seizure. They got her out of the chair, and down on the ground, and the dog laid his head down on her chest until the seizure subsided.

This was her dog.


He can sense her seizures and starts tugging at her to get down on the ground before the seizure starts. Because she learned to trust him and his senses, she eventually got to where she no longer lived in fear of the next seizure - she knew he would let her know.

And eventually, because of this, her seizures decreased so dramatically, that she started college - I am sure she is having a wonderful life now...she and her dog
.

It's very very special.



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 10:03 AM
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Great posts to you both and thanks for the links.

I hadnt heard of this but it sounds really amazing. I have only ever done care work for 1 person who has epileplsy (sp?). and to think of dogs doing that would make such a difference.

one of the things i found a bit scary was incase i was left alone and the seizure happening. as its all sudden. but with that it would relax you more IMO.

and thanks for saying about the program you said valhall. its a nice story


rynaldo



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 10:13 AM
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Good news.


Dogs can predict epileptic seizures

www.newscientist.com...
Sanc'.



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 10:14 AM
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This is the first I've ever heard regarding "seizure dogs" - and I thought I was pretty cluey on canine matter [& feline - of course!]

How marvellous that this was noticed and then researched thoroughly. I really envy you for having seen that documentary, Valhall, I'd like to see it myself, but I guess there;s fat chance of that.

I only skimmed through both those links, I must admit. But it did give me one of my [usually ridiculous] ideas. Now if this is an ongoing project, then maybe miniature or standard poodles should be considered for training [but definitely not toy poodles - they're much too small].

Poodles, believe it or not, are brilliantly intelligent dogs, and this amazed & impressed me when I was active in dog obedience training. They far outshone the German shepherds & similar highly-regarded intelligent breeds. Yeah, I know, they're regarded as fashion accessories now - but they were originally bred as retrievers, over water especially.

But I digress! Good find, intrepid, & I'm looking forward to researching more info on this interesting topic.



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 10:29 AM
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Yeah, one point I wanted to clarify. Back before she got the dog she was confined to a wheelchair (and strapped in) for safety reasons only (i.e. to make sure she didn't fall at the onset of a seizure). After she got the dog, and she learned to pay attention to his warnings...she no longer needed the wheelchair! She is very much ambulatory now!



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 10:37 AM
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This has been a major help to children who are epileptic,

As some know my younger sister suffers from extream grand mal fits, and she has a dog who is very protective over her, He often warns and stays close to her 20 mins before she has one,

Its an amazing thing to see, and he often sits with her while having a fit,

Though some times he has got over protective and starts growling at us for going near her, but this only happens when her fits change a little.
I think the dog sences something different and gets a little worried,



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 10:49 AM
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Originally posted by Valhall
After she got the dog, and she learned to pay attention to his warnings...she no longer needed the wheelchair! She is very much ambulatory now!


That really is remarkable
the progession which must have took place must have been really fascnatiing (sp?) to watch/witness)

And thanks for sharing your brilliant example asala. as you said staying close to her 20 minutes before it happens is enough time to make sure no1 is gonna get a fright and its preparing her for it. do you think think it helps her knowing that she is going to have one? i dont really know what a epileptic feels when having a seizure

do you think its like a 6th sense the dog has?

rynaldo

[edit on 17-7-2004 by rynaldo82]

[edit on 17-7-2004 by rynaldo82]



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 10:58 AM
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Val', that's great, re: ambulatory


en.wikipedia.org...

Sanc'.



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by rynaldo82do you think think it helps her knowing that she is going to have one? i dont really know what a epileptic feels when having a seizure


To answer your question, I don't know but when my wife gets home I'll point here in this direction. She had Grang Mals until she was 17.



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 11:01 AM
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Ryn it helps her alot as when she goes out the dog is with her he nudges her hand and walks around her when she is going to have a fit,
So whan shes out walking she knows to get her salf in a safe place and
sit down, also she wears a neckless that tells people whats wrong with her so she will also make sure its visable,

The strange thing is her dog is not trained to do this, it just does!

It makes her life a little easyer, it gives her just that little bit more freedom,
which is something she does not have alot of,



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by Valhall


And eventually, because of this, her seizures decreased so dramatically, that she started college - I am sure she is having a wonderful life now...she and her dog
.

It's very very special.


This is brilliant. You probably know that each epileptic seizure tends to damage a number of brain cells to a certain extent. And anti-epileptic medication contains what I regard as radical pharmaceuticals, necessary though they may be. Great new indeed for this young woman.




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