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So I will be very blunt. I have epilepsy. It's not something I've had all my life, epilepsy kind of surprised me towards the end of my junior year of high school. I used to have several seizures a week, sometimes twice a day and I hated it so so much. Eventually, mid-semester of my Senior year, I was given a medication that worked out for me and now, I am seizure free! It's been about four years and I couldn't be happier. But...I never rule out the possibility that it could happen again. That's not to sound negative and I’m not paranoid about it. I just do not like to rule out the possibility of one happening.

This post might me all over the place, so bare with me lol.

With that all being said, I remember whenever I had a seizure, our fawn colored bully named Duchess would begin to bark as soon as I felt wonky—amazing! I had one in my sleep once that could’ve killed me (I sleep on my stomach, I could’ve smothered myself) and I’d like to think if it weren’t for that dog causing such a stir once it happened, my family wouldn’t have gotten to me in time. I was so upset when my family gave her away during my freshman year of college (they couldn’t take care of her anymore) and I harp on it so much. If only I had a place of my own by than, I would’ve kept her.

I don’t think about getting a service dog too often. In fact, I don’t really think I need one at all. Nonetheless, I think about having a dog that could alert others of when a seizure takes place. What my dog back then, Duchess, could sense is probably unteachable. But I would still like to know if there are classes for something similar to what she did? I’m sure a poodle is smart enough to learn something like that and I think giving one a task like that would definitely keep it busy and if I’m ever to have one someday, it would make me feel safe in public spaces (sometimes, I do feel wonky still).

P.S. I’m so happy about this forum! I’ve so many questions about Service animals and I can’t wait to read info on them here!
 

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I think it's pretty amazing the way our dogs can read our changing smells and invisible (at least to us) body language. I actually went down quite a rabbit hole a while back, reading about how dogs react to seizures in humans, and it's not always good.

This is rather old, but might be a good starting point for you as you ponder this:


Seems that having a specially trained dog for seizure detection could benefit not only you, but also your dog.
 

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I'm glad to hear it's under control now. I took a stab at googling resources, and came across this interview about training epilepsy service dogs. It would seem that if you haven't had a seizure in a while, it will be difficult to train a dog to detect the odor. Perhaps you can contact this foundation for more info?
Thanks for the info! I’ll be sure to read it. But I also thought the same thing. Plus, I wasn’t too sure if my dog ( I don’t even have the poodle yet haha) would have to delve down the same road as a service dog? Something I wouldn’t exactly want to do. I’d feel bad for making my dog one and taking away from the meaning of one...if that makes sense.

It may be automatic in dogs to bark at something odd. Certainly other dogs around Tonka start to freak out when he goes into seizure.
If that’s possible then maybe I’d just like to train the dog to go get help after recognizing it. Also, sorry to hear about Tonka :( I hope he’s adjusting well to it. I don’t hear of too many dogs having seizures.

I think it's pretty amazing the way our dogs can read our changing smells and invisible (at least to us) body language. I actually went down quite a rabbit hole a while back, reading about how dogs react to seizures in humans, and it's not always good.

This is rather old, but might be a good starting point for you as you ponder this:


Seems that having a specially trained dog for seizure detection could benefit not only you, but also your dog.
Thanks for the article! I haven’t dwelled on the topic too much, but the more I got to about how smart poodles are and what they’re capable of, I thought it would benefit myself as well as give my poodle a special job ;)

I watched a great documentary on Netflix about service dogs too. It was kind of hard to watch, there was a child on there that had multiple seizures and the family’s expectations of a service dog before knowing what one was actually for made me sad.
 

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I watched a great documentary on Netflix about service dogs too. It was kind of hard to watch, there was a child on there that had multiple seizures and the family’s expectations of a service dog before knowing what one was actually for made me sad.
I remember watching that one when we had Netflix. Didn’t finish it; just wasn’t my cup of tea. Seemed to me that they milked it for the drama (like a lot of Netflix documentaries), and this family is the exception rather than the rule. A lot of organizations are pretty clear on what to expect.

I’d say training the dog you get as an SD just in case is a good idea, regardless if you intend to use them as such. I have heard stories of people getting bitten because they threw the dog off guard.
 

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I remember watching that one when we had Netflix. Didn’t finish it; just wasn’t my cup of tea. Seemed to me that they milked it for the drama (like a lot of Netflix documentaries), and this family is the exception rather than the rule. A lot of organizations are pretty clear on what to expect.

I’d say training the dog you get as an SD just in case is a good idea, regardless if you intend to use them as such. I have heard stories of people getting bitten because they threw the dog off guard.
This may seem like a silly question, but do you think I’d have to register the dog as such? A service dog, I mean.
 

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Register your dog? Only if you plan on venturing where only service dogs are allowed. Then you would need a certificate.
Not at all, I would feel like I’m giving service dogs a bad rep if I did so; that’s why I was asking. Since I’m not in dire need of a SD right now, I would just feel bad taking a class if I had to register my dog as one.
 

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The very first training any dog should receive is the basic CGC or CGN. But really, training never ends, and is best done in stages. First, the basics. Then, there's no end to the additional courses you could take a dog thru. Maybe even aspects of Service Dog training. Maybe staged courses that would eventually qualify the dog as a recognized detector of epilepsy.
It would be a fun thing to explore. :)
 
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