Thursday, September 15, 2011

Seizure Dogs

While we never had a trained seizure dog, I can tell you from experience, that our sweet dog, Abby, knew when Caleb (our son) was seizing.  She knew he was different from the start.  He didn't know how to play, so when we'd go outside, she'd gently take his hand in her mouth and lead him around the yard.  He loved her, and would just smile and laugh.  When his seizures started, she would lay quietly on the floor wherever he was, and she would stay until they quit.  When Caleb passed away, she sat on his place on the loveseat and whined for him, she knew he was gone.

Dogs are intuitive, they understand words, they have heightened senses that we aren't in tune with.  When people have seizures there are chemicals in your body that are released that some dogs pick up on, there are also visual cues that many people are not aware of that dogs pick up on.  And a seizure is an electrical discharge, another thing dogs could potentially pick up on.

Many people with epilepsy also have other co-morbidities, such as developmental delay, or Autism.  Dogs can be trained to address whatever specific disability that a person has.  Dogs are social, and can be extremely beneficial to children who are at risk of falling or wandering.

There are long waiting lists, but Seizure Dogs can be obtained free of charge through some great providers:

Canine Assistants

Other Links (some of them providing for free):

For more information on benefits of Seizure Dogs, follow this link:
Dogs are wonderful companions, and can be trained to truly be a help in the uncertainty of Epilepsy.  One of the biggest struggles and "disabilities" about epilepsy is not knowing when a seizure will occur, having a dog to be able to warn families, or to warn the individual is an amazing blessing. 

Blessings to each of you on your journey.


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