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What do seizure alert dogs do?

Updated: Feb 29



A woman and her seizure alert dog

Seizure alert dogs play a crucial role in the lives of individuals living with epilepsy. Trained to detect the scent associated with seizures, these remarkable animals provide invaluable support and assistance during critical moments. At Medical Mutts, we've been at the forefront of this field, collaborating in groundbreaking research that has shed light on the existence of a distinct seizure scent. (Reference: Our Dogs in Research)

 

Detecting the Scent: Seizure alert dogs are trained to recognize the unique scent associated with epileptic seizures, offering a valuable window of time for individuals to prepare for an impending episode. Seizure-prone individuals face risks in everyday tasks, such as cooking, navigating stairs, or crossing streets. A well-trained seizure alert dog becomes an invaluable partner, helping their person get to a safe place before the seizure occurs.

 

How they alert: Unlike some programs that train dogs to bark, at Medical Mutts, we emphasize a strong poke as the alert behavior, providing discreet and effective notifications.

 

Assisting During Seizures: Our seizure alert dogs undergo comprehensive training to offer assistance during a seizure. From fetching medication to activating an alert button, lying down on or beside the person to prevent injuries, to retrieving a magnet for a vagus nerve stimulator – these dogs play a crucial role in ensuring their handler's safety and well-being. Additionally, some dogs are trained to prevent their handlers from crossing streets or engaging in potentially dangerous activities during a seizure.

 

After a seizure: seizure alert dogs offer crucial assistance in recovery. They can help their handlers get up safely, provide reassurance, and even assist with balance issues.


Individualized Support: Our dogs are adaptable and can be trained to meet the unique needs of each individual. Some require assistance with balance, while others may need help with post-seizure tasks like getting up, taking medication, or getting a drink.

 

It's crucial to understand that seizure alert dogs aren't a one-size-fits-all solution. The frequency and severity of seizures, along with individual requirements, must be thoroughly evaluated before committing to a service dog. However, for countless individuals, these dogs are far more than just companions; they are indispensable family members, offering safety, reassurance, and unwavering support during life's most challenging moments.

 

“Medical mutts has been a wonderful experience and has changed my life for the better. Dublin my now fully trained epilepsy service dog has given me my life back because of medical mutts and their wonderful trainers and staff. I highly recommend them to anyone asking for help when needing a service dog!


Seizure alert dogs represent a beacon of hope and support for those living with epilepsy, offering comfort, safety, and unwavering companionship in times of need.

 

For more information about our seizure alert dogs, visit: https://www.medicalmutts.org/our-service-dogs/seizure-alert-dogs

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