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Things that no one tells you about How do seizure alert dogs work?

how do seizure alert dogs work

Humans have been suffering from so many diseases since their evolution began. In earlier centuries, when humans were infected or die of some condition, it was all known as an act of god. We were not aware of the chemical compositions and biological interference inside our bodies.

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Soon when the human brain got more evolved and they became more intelligent, it started to study itself and the whole body. We are now at a stage that most of the diseases in the world are known and can be cured.

But still, there are several conditions where a human, no matter how strong, big, little, or intelligent, cannot take control of its body. Conditions like dizziness, seizures, dreams, epilepsy, etc. can make the body go haywire.  

Lets talk about one of such condition! Seizure.

A seizure is a condition when the chemical composition misbalances inside our brain. The brain cells inside a human brain that communicate with each other are responsible control information sent to the body.

Due to sudden imbalanced chemical changes inside the body, these cells excite too much. When these brain cells get too much excited, they cause too much electricity flow inside the brain, which causes seizures.

A seizure can paralyze someone or can be small enough not to even get noticed.

Cure of Seizures

When a person suffers from a seizure ,often, it is associated with brain condition of the person. It can be an injury or a disease.

There are many anti-seizure medications in the market to cure seizures. A doctor can only prescribe the exact medication and the amount of dosage required. The doctor collects data about your seizure frequency, age, weight, and many more and knows what medicine will be best.

Another permanent option is proper diagnosis and surgery.

About this article?

In this article, we will discuss how seizures dogs can help a patient suffering from seizures. We will also discuss how to train a seizure alert dog, things that are necessary for the dog to start training & things to consider before and after the training.

Seizure Alert Dogs

Seizure Alert Dogs are a special kind of psychiatric service dog that is helpful to patients that are suffering from seizures. They always stick by the side of the patient and alert him/her before any seizure attack. 

Seizure alert dogs are also trained to react to a seizure adequately. They are trained to protect the patient from any harm and call anyone for help.

 

How do seizure alert dogs help anyone?

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Seizure alert dogs can prove to be very beneficial for patients suffering from seizures. Dogs smelling sense is a thousand times potent than that of a normal human being.

Dogs can sense any chemical imbalance inside the patient or person they are close to. When any seizure attack is about to strike the patient, a seizure alert dog can detect it before the patient even starts to notice it. 

The dog can alert the patient. The patient can take care of the situation by going to a safe place, taking necessary medication, calling a relative or loved one to take care of the situation.

Seizure Alert Dogs can also be trained to react to a seizure attack adequately. The dog can be trained to call anyone from the surrounding for help. The dog can also protect the patient from any physical harm.

Things to consider before training:

There are a few things to consider before training the dog:

  1. The dog to train should be perfectly healthy and fit for the training.
  2. The dog should not have any medical condition or allergy in the past.
  3. The trainer should select the right breed of dog if that is a choice. Some kind of dogs are more friendly and obedient than others. For example, Labradors are more loving and respectful than Rottweiler
  4. Prepare or buy some good quality food that contains less fat. This food has to be given as a treat during training.
  5. The dog should have basic training to obey simple commands like sit, stand, stay, fetch, etc.

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How to train a seizure alert dog and how do they work:

trained_service_dog imageThere are several ways to teach the dog how to detect seizures and protect the patient from them. It depends upon the trainer which method to choose.

We will discuss the easiest and popular method to train a seizure alert dog is.

Train the dog to be close to the patient:

  • For the dog to detect anything inside the patient, they should be close to them.
  • Introduce the dog to the patient if you are the trainer and someone else is patient. 
  • When the dog sticks beside the patient, give the dog a reward.
  • Keep a keyword to command the dog to stay close to the patient and to stay at ease.
  • The keyword can be ‘attention’, ‘closer’, ‘stick’, etc.
  • Teach the dog to stick to the patient as soon as the keyword is spoken.
  • When the dog sticks to the patient after the keyword, reward him.
  • The dog will associate this keyword with the activity to perform and the reward after.
  • Teach the dog about seizure:

Usually, a dog can detect the chemical imbalance automatically and react to that without specific training. Training the dog will make it more accurate and safe.

  • When the dog stays close to the patient and detects anything unusual inside his body, make him alert the patient by doing any alert.
  • When the dog performs that alert before any attack or any unusual activity inside the patient’s body, reward him and give him a lot of praise so that he knows that he has done the right work.
  • Teach the dog to call someone during a seizure attack:
  • This is the most critical training as the dog should know how to react when his patient has a seizure attack. 
  • The patient needs one more person if he is training the dog itself.
  • The patient should enact the seizure in front of the dog. 
  • Another person should come running towards the patient, and the patient should feel normal.
  • This will convey to the dog that in this situation, another person can help the patient by making him/her healthy again.
  • Practice this activity several times a day with the dog.
  • After some time, the other person should stop running towards the patient and stand facing somewhere else.
  • If the dog comes to the person and starts to push him towards the patient to save him, reward him, and give a lot of praise.
  • Make the dog understand the situation by practising more with him if he is not responding correctly.

Professional trainer advice and help can be taken for the training if you are not a trainer and trying to train your dog. The professional trainers might cost you much, but they are professional dog trainers and know their way with dogs. This experience can help you a lot in training your dog.

Duration of Training:

Training the dog can take months. Sometimes even years to train the dog. It is not as easy to teach the dogs what you want. They are small mute beings with four legs. 

They can detect what’s unusual inside a human, but they don’t know that it is wrong or right. The trainer needs to tell the dog what’s terrible and what’s right. Also, how to react to something not right appropriately.

Professional training can take a little less time as the dog is trained by professional trainers who are familiar with the teaching strategies of the dog.

Things to consider during training:

  1. Be patient:The dog might not do what it is being taught. It can take a lot of time.
  2. If the dog shows any signs of depression or sadness, the training must be stopped immediately.
  3. If the dog becomes ill or starts to suffer from any medical condition, terminate the training.
  4. Do not harm or hurt the dog in any way possible.
  5. The dog may not show 100% accurate results. Do not blame the dog for that. Try to do more practice with him to make him more reliable.
  6. Try to make the dog see actual seizure as many times he can. For this train, the dog to stay close to the patient as much as possible.

 

No doubt, service dogs are a gift to the human race. These service dogs do what other people cannot do for a suffering human. In return, they just want the owner or the patient to treat them like a family with a lot of praise, love, and treats.

 

All in all, people suffering from problems like a seizure, which can be dangerous to their health, should have a seizure alert dog by their side to protect them from any physical harm. One day all the training will be successful when the dog proves to be a lifesaver.

To learn more about seizure alert dogs and their training, refer these videos:

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Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seizure_response_dog

https://books.google.co.in/books?id=XSnhtAEACAAJ&dq=seizure+alert+dogs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiHv52dooHnAhV76nMBHTboCaMQ6AEIMDAB

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