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I would like to find a dog sensitive to epilepsy seizures...

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Question by Hariet
Submitted on 3/16/2004
Related FAQ: rec.pets.dogs: Service Dogs FAQ
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I would like to find a dog sensitive to epilepsy seizures for my son.  I am low income.

Answer by ServiceAnimalInfo
Submitted on 7/3/2006
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Animals that can predict seizures are extremely rare. Due to the unpredictability of some types of epileptic seizures, it can be difficult to find an animal that can alert, as well as train it to do so since it would be needing to learn to respond to a stimulus that's not readily producible.

At this time it's uncertain how animals can predict epileptic seizures in humans. Some experts believe the animals cue in on minor behavior changes while others believe the animals cue in on chemical changes in the body. More research needs to be done.

Some organizations claim to train dogs to alert to seizures, however there is a lot of doubt as to their validity, due to the above reasons.

My suggestion would be, depending on your son's age and maturity, to get a dog that is trained to assist him when he has a seizure. This, alone, can provide a great sense of security. In addition, though unlikely, it's still possible that by having a dog he works closely with, the dog may eventually start to pick up on early warning signals and could start alerting on its own. If an epileptic with an animal keeps a journal of their seizures as well as the animal's behavior throughout the day, they may be lucky enough to notice a pattern where the dog's giving off early warning signals a few seconds to many hours before the seizure.  PLEASE BE WARNED THIS IS VERY RARE. If the animal does seem to be giving early warning signals, then work can be done to reinforce and/or modify that behavior.


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