Migraine Service Dogs

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.

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Daisy - R.I.P.

Good Morning- Beautiful.
Barked: Mon Mar 31, '08 5:25am PST 
OP = orginal poster

I'm a blessing.
Barked: Sun Apr 6, '08 7:06am PST 
OOh thats awesome that your dogs can sense the migraines coming on. I suffer with migraines and I tend to deny and deny its a migraine until its full-blown. My husband can sometimes tell when one is coming on from my behavior. Imitrex doesnt work for me, but relpax gives some relief I just have to keep taking it. Luckily it only affects me 4-6 days a month most months.

Anyhow, your dogs are amazing! I dont think my dogs notice really. They just try to get in the toilet while I puke.

You move your- meat you lose- your seat
Barked: Sun Apr 6, '08 7:26am PST 
I am a migrain sufferer but since using Axert I don't have full blown ones anymore. My Chi-Chi hasn't seen me with one so not sure if she would help me or not.


Always happy
Barked: Mon Apr 7, '08 2:49pm PST 
Unfortunately my migraines are now affecting my circulation-numb fingers and arm and eyesight due to the bad blood vessels I guess.

Work hard; Play- harder.
Barked: Mon Apr 7, '08 3:24pm PST 
Darn! That isn't good news. Big hugs your way.hughughug

We just found out that I can try Botox for free. I just got back from the base neurologist since the regular practitioners don't like to write prescriptions for much more than motrin. His exact wording was "You are at the end of the line as far treatment options. I'm not going to use you as my guinea pig (since I pointed out I had felt like one with my previous neurologist). He asked what drugs were working/semi-working now and told me that the only things he could think of that I haven't tried are Botox and acupuncture. They will pay for the one, but not the other. big laugh

So I'm getting my forehead, side(s) of my head, my neck, and possibly part of my trapezius muscle done next week. He has said that it may take 2-3 treatments (spaced 3 months apart) before we will notice any real result. In the meantime, he supports my use of Scooter and continues to support it. He was happy to met the little guy since he had heard and read soo much about us).

This news has made me hopeful again. I've read the studies and felt like it could help, but at the time, it was cost prohibitive.

Pawmail me if you want to talk. I can think of several options that you might ask about if you haven't tried them already.

Again, big hugs.hughughug

KD, Scooter, & Bretta

Lickers to all- dogs big and- small!
Barked: Mon Apr 7, '08 3:41pm PST 
I have a neurological condition called a Chiari Malformation. I am considered disabled due to my over 25 symptoms. One of the worst ones is migraines. I take Percocet, and like many pups posted before, I never take it until I am so sick I can barely walk. I know a SD for migraines would be very valuable to me. I did not know they existed. Very cool.

Dorito Ban Deito
Barked: Wed Mar 4, '09 8:47pm PST 
W-O-W!! I am in jaw dropping awe! I am a migraine suffer as well. I've tried everything (or at least I think everything). I've done many many RX's including anxiety/depression, blood pressure (several), anti-seizure (several)... list goes on. I've also tried diet, chiropractor, neurologist, massage, and on the 20th I go to see an endocrinologist to see if any relief can be found there. I've had migraines all my life but they have been increasing since 2001. I have one (or more) every 7-10 days. Last week I had five migraines in a six day period. At this point no doctor can figure it out. I take Relpax once I start getting one, but I hate Relpax. I hate the way I feel on it. But it's the same no matter what medicine I use to take away the migraine. I cannot function. After recently doing some online research I discovered what I have been experiencing actually as names… Prodrone/Aura/Headache/Postdrone stages (http://www.healthcentral.com/migraine/understanding-migraine-29375- 5.html). The information I read was amazing. Everything I've ever tried to explain to doctors was right there completely documented by professionals. Sometimes I feel like doctors done believe what I'm trying to describe. Like when I say I feel mentally slower during & even the next day after a migraine. That when someone asks me a question on a normal day I would answer without hesitation or struggle. But during/after I have to pause & concentrate on the answer. It feels like my brain is sluggish, almost like I have a hangover. I have a friend who suffers from social anxiety & panic attacks. She has trained two SD for herself, so I'm alittle familiar with that world, but I never dreamed a dog could help with migraines. I seriously just googled "Migraine Service Dogs" just to see because I just watched a news video about how a SD can help with lots of different conditions from arthritis to chronic fatigue syndrome, and found this discussion board. I am a HUGE dog lover, and German Shepherds are my breed of choice. We have a 4 month female GSD puppy, 2 year male GSD, & a 10 year beagle mix. The male GSD, Dorado, is mine; and the female GDS puppy, Mirage, is my husband’s. I can't tell you how much I would love for Dorado to alert. There have been times that I'm at the computer and he comes to jump in my lap (or in reality, put is front half in my lap he's so big) and I've wondered in the back of my mind if he's alerting. Being at the computer too long can cause a migraine. Does he know that? Also if I'm out at someone’s house he sometimes will get really pushy for us to leave. But I've never been able to figure out if he wants to leave for his own purpose, or if he knows I'm over exerting myself & I need to go home. If these are the beginnings of "alerts" how do I encourage them? I can't tell you how wonderful it would be to have a warning. I walk around in fear of when the next one is going to interrupt my life, and cause incredible pain. It's not just an attack on my head. It's an attack on my whole body... on my life. Thank you to all who have posted on this thread. It has been so enlightening & encouraging.

Super Silver- Service Spoodle
Barked: Wed Mar 4, '09 10:06pm PST 
Welcome, Dorado, it might help you to start a new thread, I'm not sure people will see your questions out here at the end!

Start keeping a log of whenever Dorado jumps on you or does any unusual behavior, and when your migranes start. That is the surest way to see if he is alerting to them or not. If he is alerting to them, reward him every time he alerts with treats and praise. This is called reinforcing the alert, and it will keep him alerting and also make the alert more reliable. Any dog, service dog or pet, can be of help alerting to a migraine, so I'd do this for sure.

If you want to train Dorado as a service dog, I'd recommend trying to find a trainer who can evaluate Dorado's temperament to make sure he'll enjoy being a service dog. Then work on getting him to the standard of a test like this one http://www.psychdog.org/attach/Public_Access_Standard_Test_Sheet.pdf. Also work on shaping the alerts, and think about if you want to train him to do anything else for you. You'll also want to research your state's service dog in training laws, and think about the service dog lifestyle and if it is right for you.

We speak out- against- discrimination
Barked: Thu Mar 5, '09 1:37am PST 
Louie, I have a chiari malformation as well. I was just at TCI in NY and also have EDS, a retroflexed odontoid, and tethered cord. Sati alerts to when I get overwhelmed from sensory input, alerts to microsleeps, blocks people from touching me, and is trained to help me with balance as well. She also responds to my POTS. There are a lot of things a SD can do for us Chiarians!

Hmm, is that- chicken? Can I- have it?
Barked: Sun Mar 8, '09 1:11pm PST 
Kumiko alerts to migraines to me, but I have been lucky enough in the last month to not have had any major ones. I can't take meds for them either. Usually I have to try to take the edge off with excedrin Migraine, but it hardly ever works. More wishful thinking than anything I think.

At least with Kumiko's alerts I can be prepared for it, and let my family know that I will be out of commission for a while. But this is not Kumiko's major function. She has many other alerts and will have other response behaviors in the future.

I think that if something is disabling to you and your dog can help you with it, then more power to you. But I am not an expert.

Nicole and Kumiko
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