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Seizure Alert Dogs Give Early Warning Signs

By Ann Jordan

Over the last two decades, new developments have been made in service animals. Seizure alert dogs are able to provide individuals suffering with epilepsy and related conditions warnings that an attack is about to occur. This may provide time for the person to use episode blocking medications, relocate to a safe place or telephone for help.

It is not known how these service animals detect the oncoming episode. Trainers and researchers believe they may detect behavioral changes or specific scents before the attack begins. However, there have been no conclusive studies to prove such theories. In addition, the ability does not seem to be affected by the breed, gender or age of the canine.

From all appearances, this ability seems innate in certain canines and is not something that can be taught. When detected, animals are trained to make the appropriate response. These special canines differ in this manner from others often trained to give assistance to those with other special health concerns.

The canines trained for this purpose are recruited from many different locations. They may have been in shelters or come from breeders. Others may have been a pet that showed the ability to detect the problem. The training included staying with the person or pressing a special button on a phone to dial 911 for help. Once the emergency response system is alerted, help is sent, even if no one is able to speak on the phone.

More than two million Americans are affected by Epilepsy. Attacks may be over in a few seconds or last several minutes. The victim may become unconscious. Some sufferers begin to avoid normal life activities because of the consequences caused by being unconscious in the attack. Some sufferers have become the victims of a crime while in the midst of an event. A service dog allows these individuals to live a more normal life. The may return to the workplace or run their own errands with the animal’s assistance.

While some animals never miss predicting an episode, not all have the same type of record. Still, they can be trained to stay beside with the individual, providing comfort and protection during the attack. They might lie beside the owner until he or she regains consciousness or lick the person’s face. Since 100% accuracy is not guaranteed, these animals are normally described as an assistance animal.

In the USA, the Medicaid program in Montana is the only one that pays the cost of a service animal. However, some training organizations provide them for free or provide financial assistance to those with needs. This can help to set off the cost the several thousand dollars required for training. Requirements include the ability and willingness of the applicant to provide care and follow-up training.

Seizure alert dogs can improve the quality of life for a person who suffers from seizures. These animals are identified by their innate ability to detect an episode before it begins. They are trained to provide the appropriate response to ensure the owner’s safety.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Jordan, Ann "Seizure Alert Dogs Give Early Warning Signs." Seizure Alert Dogs Give Early Warning Signs. 10 Apr. 2013. 5 Oct 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Jordan, A (2013, April 10). Seizure Alert Dogs Give Early Warning Signs. Retrieved October 5, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Jordan, Ann "Seizure Alert Dogs Give Early Warning Signs"

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