Seizure Response/ Alert Dogs
Most agencies will not work with children, especially very young children. NDFH has no minimum age requirement and believes fully in early intervention. The ability of dogs to detect an oncoming seizure is somewhat controversial, and scientists have been unable to explain how some dogs seem to have the ability to do this. It has been determined that many dogs do seem sensitive to oncoming seizures but how and why is still somewhat of a mystery. Researchers believe the dogs may be aware of chemical or behavioral changes that take place before a seizure occurs. Dogs that can alert are referred to as Seizure Alert Service Animals.
Research does not support claims that a dog can be trained to alert to a seizure. The ability to alert appears to be an innate ability that not all dogs possess.
Seizure alert dogs can often alert minutes to hours before a seizure occurs. The time between the alert and the seizure varies between dogs and seems to depend on what type of changes take place within that particular person.
Seizure response dogs are dogs that are trained to respond to seizures. A seizure response dog may be trained to: fetch medicine, fetch a phone, hit a 911 button, fetch a blanket and pillow, alert another person in the house of the seizure, block a person from wandering into a dangerous situation during a seizure in which the person is still walking, brace a person as they fall due to a seizure, lay with a person during and after the seizure, and provide stimulation to an unconscious/semi-conscious person post seizure. Some of our parents have reported that their children have fewer seizures since their Service dogs entered their homes. This is believed to be the result of a reduction in the stress level the children have through the comfort they find in their new companion.
Some seizure medications can cause issues with balance and the dogs are trained, if needed, to help the child during these times by walking beside them with a harness they can hold to help stabilize themselves. Service Dogs can also provide emotional support in the various medical environments. Seizure Response Dogs can bring with them the miracles that arise with every service dog provided to children with any disability.
Seizure alert/response dogs are considered service dogs and can accompany the person with epilepsy into all public access buildings as defined by the ADA. Seizure alert/response dogs are helping people live a more independent live.
Noelle's Dogs Four Hope does NOT guarantee our dogs will alert prior to a seizure. However, it is our opinion that by placing puppies at an early age, the chance of an alert increases as the dog/handler form a bond.