We train and place seizure response and seizure alert service dogs to be of assistance for children and adults with disabilities. Recipients are asked to travel to San Diego California for handler training.
The service dog for seizures is trained to assist people who have epilepsy or other seizure disorders with tasks such as: pressing a k-9 phone, alerting someone for help, medical alert, retrieving a phone, protecting the person during the seizure from injury or applying deep pressure therapy on a person after a seizure. As a person recovers from a seizure, the dog can be trained to retrieve medications, retrieve a phone, they can also act as a brace for balance if the person is dizzy or unbalanced after the seizure. Many have said they feel less stress since having a service dog with them that they have had a marked decreased in seizures. From our life experience we have found this to be true. Less stress means fewer seizures. The dog also helps to comfort after the seizure.
In addition to the assistance work, these dogs provide a measure of emotional support for the recipient; they help increased self-esteem and confidence, and a distraction during unpleasant medical procedures.
A Seizure alert dog* is trained in specific scent-training to help individuals with epilepsy or other seizure disorders. With this training, the service dog for seizures may be able to alert to the onset of a seizure giving the recipient time to get to a safe area or safe position preventing or minimizing injury. The medical alert dog has been known to respond and alert a recipient of an oncoming seizure 5 to 15 minutes before the onset. Some dogs have detected a seizure minutes before the seizure begins. Some seizures happen so fast that the dog is not able to alert fast enough before the seizure occurs. This would all be discussed during the application process and phone consultation. Along with scent-training, this type of service dog can also be trained as a seizure assistance dog. This dog performs tasks such as getting help, pressing a K-9 phone, retrieving a phone, or applying deep pressure therapy. As a person recovers from a seizure, the seizure dog can be trained to retrieve medications in a special medical bag or medication that is in a service dog vest. They can also act as a brace to help with balance or dizziness after a seizure. The seizure response/alert dog can also provide comfort after the seizure has ended. In our expienence, the seizure dog has also helped to calm the recipient when feeling a aura (feeling, taste, noise or heart palpatations). Instead of focusing on an oncomming seizure, they focus on the dog which may relieve stess and may stop the seizure from going to a full-blown seizure.
Each one of our seizure alert/assistance dogs are custom trained specifically for your needs.
Diabetic Alert Assistance Dog:
The diabetic alert dog is trained to alert to the change of blood chemistry (hypoglycemic). This dog is trained to alert the individual when their blood sugar levels are high or low. The dog can be trained to retrieve meds on command and get help.
In addition to the medical alert work, these dogs provide emotional support for the recipient; they help increase confidence and are a distraction during unpleasant medical procedures.
Can you give me an example of a seizure alert/response dog?
A good example of a combined seizure alert/seizure response dog that has been custom trained to meet an individual’s needs is the dog that is currently working with one of our own family members. We trained the dog to alert us to the seizures that occur at night. When she has a seizure he either hears, smells or senses when the seizure occurs and he goes into action, pressing a pre-programmed K-9 phone which calls me on my cell phone. By the time I get to her, her dog has already placed himself in his position to protect her from running off during the seizure. Since her dog has been working with her she has not had a broken nose, sprained arm nor needed plastic surgery due to the force of the seizure when she runs off and falls, which all did happen before her dog. In addition to his night job, he also assist her when she’s alone and feels as if she is going to have a seizure awake, her service dog comes to her aide. He places himself on her lap (DPT), while he is next to her she is able to calm down and focus on him, not on having a seizure. Many times because of the calming affect her service dog has when performing deep pressure therapy, the seizure never progresses to a full-blown seizure. There are so many other examples of seizure alert dogs being combined with mobility, or a seizure assistance dog being combined with a psychiatric service dog. The combinations are numerous. This is why we ask for each person interested in a service dog to fill out a service dog application. This application will help us determine what type of tasks the service dog will need to learn and if we are able to provide a service dog for your individual needs.
Can a dog alert to my type of seizures?
There are so many types of seizures with many different types of seizure activity. An example is temporal lobe seizures. Some start with slow and gradual seizure activity. As the seizure is building slowly, the scent that we believe is emitted is able to warn the dog, allowing the dog enough time to alert in advance to a seizure before the full-blown physical (body) seizure activity occurs. Another type of frontal lobe seizure is the type our daughter has. The seizure starts and goes to a full blown seizure almost immediately. This type of seizure does not build up slowly, it moves so fast that the dog does not get the scent cue to alert to the onset of the seizure. This does not mean that the dog cannot alert others in the house of the seizure that is occurring. They can be trained to either alert family members, to assist by performing deep pressure therapy helping keep the individual from harming themselves, or dial a pre-programed K9 phone (ABLE-PHONE).
Because of the different types of seizures, tonic clonic, absence, simple partial, generalized (grand mal) along with the combination of different sizures one might have, on occasions we ask for permission to allow us to contact your neurologist during the application process.
There is no guarantee that any dog will consistently alert to an oncoming seizure, or that they won't give a false alert. It has been our experience, that over time as the dog and recipient become more in tune with each other, the ability for a dog to alert to an oncoming seizure is greatly increased.
Office Hours: Mon-Fri 9am - 5pm
Closed Saturday & Sunday