Service Dogs for Fibromyalgia

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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You no Big- Puppie!!!!
Barked: Tue Aug 5, '08 7:16pm PST 
Hi everyone,
My mommy was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia after suffering with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for over 10 years. We were just curious if anyone here on dogster has a service dog for fibro? Also, has anyone had any experience with xolos for pain relief? Any input would be helpful. Thanks!
Lexus aka Lexi

Paying It- Forward *One- Smile At A Time*
Barked: Tue Aug 5, '08 7:47pm PST 
I have suffered with Fibromyalgia for 17 yrs and have never heard of anyone having a service dog for this. Check with Fibrohugs.org and they can tell you. The dog you mentioned works well for people with RA but there is a long waiting period as they are just starting to be recognized.

Total and- Unconditional- Love.
Barked: Tue Aug 5, '08 7:52pm PST 

Our dog, Peanut is a 2 year old Great Dane and is a certified Mobility dog and Therapy dog for may wife, Staci. My wife has had Fibro for over 20 years. She is now taking the new drug called Lyrica. Since then, she has been doing much better. My wife uses Peanut in case she loses her balance. Peanut also goes to hospitals, care centers and hospic homes. She is certified thru Delta and is part of the Gabrials Angels where Peanut also visits Shelters for abused women and children. We are also training our new member of our family, Texas. He is 7 months old Great Dane and already weights over 100 lbs. He will be trading off with Peanut for my wifes Mobility. I hope this helps. If you need any information about Fibro, my wife will be happy to answer any questions for you. Thanks, Mike, Staci, Peanut and Texas.snoopy


It's all about- me.
Barked: Tue Aug 5, '08 8:40pm PST 
wave Hi everyonewave

My mom has Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and Fibromyalgia (FM). I'm a registered therapy dog thru Delta too... Not the same as a service dog... but Glad to hear they are working on it.way to go

If it wasn't for us...mom would be severely depressed...we keep her laughing and as active as possible...of course some days are better than others...as you all know.

hughughughughug Here are five hugs...a hug from each of my poodle pack to help with the news of your diagnosis.


Both websites have really good info. Mom follows the SHINE protocal.
Sleep - getting restorative sleep is vital.
Hormones - ask your doc to check your hormone balance.
Infections - get any infection(s) under control.
Nutrition - a balanced diet isn't enough...supplements are essential.
Exercise - gentle and steady exercise can help stop de-conditioning.

Good luck to all of you!

You no Big- Puppie!!!!
Barked: Tue Aug 5, '08 8:55pm PST 
Thank you to all for your words of advice. It's been a struggle, and I've been to several different doctors in the past three years trying to come up with something. I've was told I had Chronic Fatigue back in college, but it seemed to settle down until I got mono for the fifth time on my honeymoon. Nice present.
Since then, I've been from doctor to doctor looking for some kind of help. I've finally found a really nice doctor who is determined to help.
Right now, aside from the fatigue, I'm having severe joint pain as well as balance issues.
I had heard about Xolos for Chronic Pain Relief organization and I'm interested in getting one for the heat benefits.
Of course I also love dogs and have two that really keeping me going now, but neither really have that added heat.
I am glad to hear that you all have had some success with your dogs. Thanks again for taking the time out to respond.
Zekes mom

Super Silver- Service Spoodle
Barked: Tue Aug 5, '08 8:57pm PST 
A service dog is a dog that is trained to mitigate the life limiting disability of the handler and is trained to behave in public.

If your fibro is disabling, and if you have a dog that is specifically trained to mitigate the disability, and that dog is trained to behave in public, then that would be a service dog. Your disability does not have to be recognized on any type of list, you just have to have a disability that can be helped by a service dog.

If you are interested in a service dog, first you should talk with your doctor to see if he considers it disabling. Then you need to think of what you want the dog to do for you. Simply sitting in your lap while helpful for pain relief is not a trained task or work. I agree it would be helpful to you, but if this is all your dog does then it is not a service dog. You might use a service dog to assist with your mobility, for example. Brianstorm the ways in which your disability limits you and what things a dog might be trained to do to assist you.

Also, there are several ways you can go about getting a service dog. You can get one from an organization, from a private trainer, or train one yourself. There might be long waits if you want to get one from an organization, I don't know specifically. But there are other ways to go about it as well. I've written a FAQ for people considering getting a service dog that you might want to read:


Also, you might want to check out the PSDS website. The FAQ, training standards and lifestyle articles all talk exensively about the process of training your own service dog. In addition, I and others on this forum would be happy to help you with any questions you might have. Hope this helps!

ETA: many short haired breeds like Italian Greyhounds also provide a lot of heat and warmpth.

Edited by author Tue Aug 5, '08 9:08pm PST


Wag more, bark- less!
Barked: Wed Aug 6, '08 1:31am PST 
One thing about fibro dogs- it's NOT that the condition isn't disabling, but be VERY wary of any group that advocates 'heat pack' type dogs without any other task training. I'd really worry about that task holding up in court. With disabling fibro, it shouldn't be hard to come up with SOMETHING else to trian the dog to do in addition, anyway.

I wouldn't limit yourself to xolos- any dog with very short hair is going to put out a considerable amount of body heat.

You no Big- Puppie!!!!
Barked: Wed Aug 6, '08 3:02pm PST 
Thanks for all the responses. I'm not really looking for a service dog per se. I was just curious to if other people did and what kind of success they have had with them. Right now, I am pretty much able to do things, I'm just really stiff and very tired.
I was looking into the heat therapy dogs and was just curious if anyone had any experiences with them.

I'm a joy- machine
Barked: Mon Aug 18, '08 10:32pm PST 
Thanks to all for this information. My best friend's daughter has Fibromyalgia and I will tell her what I've learned here. It may help.way to go

Barked: Tue Aug 19, '08 2:26pm PST 
I have a dog specifically for my Fibromyalgia, and my mental health, he's dual disability. Taser is trained as a balance and stability dog. I have FM, MPS (myofacia pain syndrome) and CFS for the last 20 years. He gives me balance when walking, assitance going up and down stairs, curbs, etc. and catches me when my joints give out (knees, hips, lower back).

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