Our furbaby Gina (shepherd mix) is so smart.

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r8derfan

Guest
Our other furbaby Mike (chow mix) has small seizures. When he is having a seizure she comes and gets us to tend to him. The 1st time she did this we thought it was a coincidence. But she has done this the past 4 times he has had these. What a good girl. We fell in love with her almost 3yrs ago when we saw at the pound and she was just about 8 weeks old. Mike is a pound puppy also. They're the best.
 
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BostonsJ

Guest
Aren't furbabies incredible. I have seen it with my babies and it just amazes me each time.
 
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conniecat

Guest
I was giving my siamese queen a bath one day, and she howled her head off. Ever hear a siamese howl? You can hear it for miles. My stud cat, Sonny, came running into the bathroom, jumped on the tub which he usually avoided like the plague. grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and tried to pull her out of the tub to safety.

That is the cat that used to pick up the kittens he had fathered and carry them to a corner, tuck them under him, give them a bath and try to nurse them. First time I saw that I nearly fainted, I thought he was going to eat them like some fathers in the wild do, but not sweet gentle Sonny. He loved his family.
 
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Calgon1

Guest
Here's some interesting data on Seizure Dogs, from the http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/

All About Seizure Dogs

Seizure dogs can help when a family member is having a seizure. A few dogs may even be able to predict when people will have a seizure.
Posted: December 1, 2001

They're companions. They're an alarm system. They're helpers, protectors, and service providers. They may even be able to sense in advance when someone they're close to is going to have an epileptic seizure. So-called seizure dogs can be all these things - and more.

America's interest in seizure dogs began in the mid-1980's, when a woman with epilepsy who was taking part in a Washington state prison project involving dogs discovered that one of the dogs seemed to know when she was going to have a seizure. The news media picked up the story, and the phrase "seizure dogs" was born. The Lifetime television drama, "Within These Walls," is based in part on this experience.

Seizure Dogs Help in Many Ways

Now the term is used in a broader sense, and covers a variety of activities associated with epilepsy. Some dogs have been trained to bark or otherwise alert families when a child has a seizure while playing outside or in another room. Some dogs learn to lie next to someone having a seizure to prevent injury. Others are even said to be able to activate alarm systems. On the other hand, some dogs are frightened by seizures and have to be reassured and trained to deal with them calmly.

Dogs that are trained to respond in various ways when people have a seizure are no different from other service dogs. When the question of seizure prediction comes up, however, it's a different story. Most people who report having dogs with this ability say that it develops over time and comes as a surprise to both the owner and the family.

In 1998, Roger Reep, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of physiological sciences at the University of Florida, surveyed 77 people between the ages of 30 and 60 who had epilepsy. The survey asked about their quality of life, medical status, attitudes toward pets, ownership of dogs, and their pets' behavior prior to and during a seizure. Most of the people responding to the survey had epilepsy for a long time (average: 25 years); more than half had at least one seizure per month.

Most said they had dogs for companionship. In interviews following the survey, 3 out of the 31 felt that their dogs seemed to know when they were going to have a seizure (10 percent). Another 28 percent said their dogs stayed with them when they had a seizure.

Dr. Reep reported his findings at the 1998 National Conference of the Epilepsy Foundation. He concluded that reports of seizure-alerting behavior in dogs should be viewed as credible, but with caution. According to his research, the behavior seems to occur spontaneously and may occur in as many as one in ten situations when the owner is having at least one seizure per month. In his survey, no particular breed appeared to be better at sensing an oncoming seizure than any other.

Researchers Train Several Dogs To Warn of Seizures

Dr. Stephen W. Brown, a British neuropsychiatrist and epilepsy specialist, and Val Strong, a behavioral scientist and animal trainer, reported in 1999 in the European Journal of Epilepsy Seizure that, working with people with epilepsy and dogs together, they were able to train some of the dogs to warn of seizures.

The training was based on reward-based operant conditioning - that is, the dogs got a reward every time their owners had seizures. "After a while those dogs that are going to be able to act as seizure-assistance dogs start to alert and expect their reward before the person's had the seizure," Dr. Brown said. The dogs he was training were sometimes able to give warning as much as 15 to 45 minutes before the actual seizure occurred. The way the dogs behaved took different forms, from pawing in a special way to simply approaching the person and barking.

Could this kind of training make people more likely to have seizures in response to something that looks like a warning? Not according to Dr. Brown. In fact, in his study group, the actual number of seizures went down.

Public interest in the seizure dog phenomenon has created a demand for information about how to get a dog with these various talents, especially the ability to predict seizures. While some people have been very pleased with their new canine friends, others have been disappointed. The Epilepsy Foundation recommends that people take great care in reviewing trainer claims and results, especially when thousands of dollars are involved.

References:
Hughes D. Epilepsy patients paired with 'seizure alert dogs' in pilot program. Neurology Reviews. 1999. 35.

Strong V. Brown SW. Walker R. Seizure-alert dogs - fact or fiction? Seizure 1999; 8:62-65).

Brown SW. Strong V. The use of seizure-alert dogs. Seizure 2001; 10:39-41.

Reep R. Seizure dogs. Presented at the National Conference of the Epilepsy Foundation, 1998. (unpublished).
 
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GloBug

Guest
I was recently reading about a seizure dog that would force his owner to the ground or floor, and make her stay there until she had her seizure and it was over. Animals are amazing!

Kiefer came in and got me yesterday, and he was barking rather insistently. I finally followed him into the living room, and found the cockatiel on the floor instead of her cage! Such a tattle tail, but I'm glad he did!
 
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r8derfan

Guest
Oh these furbabies. What a wonderful gift it is to have them in our lives.
 

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