Assistance dogs are valuable companions for people living with disabilities, giving them greater independence, peace of mind and support. In the field of epilepsy it can even save their lives.
There are some dogs that are able to detect crises before they occur as well as to help people who are suffering one. A way to reduce the uncertainty that people with epilepsy constantly experience by not knowing when they are going to have a seizure.
There are two types of dogs depending on their specialty:
- Dogs that detect seizures: They are capable of detecting when a seizure is approaching (thanks to their sense of smell) and alert the owner before it occurs, taking the necessary precautionary measures. In some cases, dogs that live with a person with epilepsy, end up doing so naturally, although most are trained for about 18 months.
- Aiding dogs: They have been trained to find help or help their owner during and/or after a crisis: removing objects that ask for risk to the affected, bringing a phone, seeking help, staying next to the person … It is possible that children under 12 years can not participate in the rigorous training that these animals need. Therefore, it is possible to include a parent, guardian, medical assistant or another adult as a “couple”, so that the child and family can benefit from this support.
However, both dogs provide confidence and contribute significantly to improving the emotional well-being of the patients.