If you're prone to seizures, having a specially trained dog around can really help you manage your symptoms, be alert for when seizures are about to start, and get you the help you need. These dogs go through rigorous training for anywhere from 18 months to 2 years and become lifelong companions upon graduating from training. At the very core, seizure-alert dogs are responsible for alerting owners about oncoming seizures before they happen. Additional training can be given to train seizure dogs to help owners get the help they need immediately. Here are three tricks that you may want to get your seizure dogs trained for.
Alert Others Nearby
While most seizure-alert dogs are trained to provide you with companionship and support when you are having a seizure, you should consider training your dog to seek help immediately once the seizure hits. Once the dog has made sure that you are in a safe area and has provided you with some affection, it should head straight to others nearby.
If you live with family members, get the dog trained to do a specific action so that there is no doubt to others that you are having a seizure. This may include a specific series of barks or even physically nudging someone to your direction.
Obtain Medications Needed
Depending on the cause and type of seizure that you have, your acting physician may recommend different types of drugs to help manage symptoms. Getting the medication you need after a seizure may be difficult, as you may still be dealing with the aftermath. Seizure-alert and -response dogs can be trained to recognize the type of medications that you need and bring them to you. If you're interested in training your dog to do this, make sure you keep your anti-epileptic medications in an easy-to-reach place. Also, store anti-epileptic medications separately from other medications that you take. This way, there won't be any confusion as to what medications the dog you should bring you.
There are many different types of anti-epileptic drugs that you can take for seizures. Narrow-spectrum anti-epileptic drugs, for example, are designed to target specific types of seizures that only happen in certain areas of the brain while broad-spectrum anti-epileptic drugs are recommended for patients who struggle with more than one type of seizure.
Push an Emergency Button to Alert Medical Authorities
If you get really bad seizures and need to be checked up on by a medical authority afterward, you should train your dog to push an emergency button once the seizure starts to alert necessary medical authorities. Make sure that you get your dog trained in a home environment if the buttons or devices are installed at home. If you have a portable device, you'll want to use the same device during training. It's important that your dog is familiar with the device.
When training your dog for this trick, you might also want to consider putting forth some effort to train your dog to recognize the severity of the seizure. If you accomplish this, you can train your dog to push on the emergency button only if the severity of the seizure surpasses a certain threshold.
Not every dog can be a seizure-alert and -response dog, and the seizure-response training required can be strenuous and difficult. Still, it's worth it. Once your dog has learned all of the tricks needed, it can be a great lifelong companion and can help you get out of sticky situations quickly and easily. You'll be able to manage and deal with your seizure symptoms a lot more easily with the help of one of these trained dogs.