Alerting to seizures?

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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Tue Oct 23, '12 2:00am PST 
Charlie and I are BOTH epileptic. What an irony that I ended up with a dog with epilepsy, when I found out a year prior to getting him that I was epileptic.

I'm going to start by saying that I very rarely have grand mal seizures. I've only had one in the past ten years. Most, if not all, seizures I typically have are partials and many of them go unnoticed by me. It's often my fiance, actually, who notices when something isn't right with me and brings it up after it passes.

I also did not know Charlie was epileptic until he was three years old and seized twice in front of me(I got him at eight months old, with most, if not all of his previous vet records and was even able to backtrack the four previous homes he had had prior to me).

I'm always reading things on here, and have read about seizure alert dogs many times and often hear that they are typically 'naturally' in tune to epileptics and cannot be trained for alerting to this? I'm not sure if that's true or not, so bare with me here...

I had a seizure today(a few days after Charlie had had one as well, actually - although his are more frequent and more severe) and he was acting insanely WEIRD for a good thirty-forty minutes prior. He would NOT leave me alone. At all. He was acting like I was dying and he'd never see me again. He was climbing all over me, despite me telling him "No"(I was in pain, and not feeling well, so he was really just irritating me) - to which he typically listens very well. My fiance took him out for a bathroom break, we fed him, everything he normally would be asking for. But he was all over me, nudging me, climbing on me, staring at me, really really ANXIOUS and acting like something was really wrong. It was the weirdest behavior I've ever witnessed from him and to be honest, I felt he was being a bit of a pest, lol.

I had a partial seizure approx. forty minutes after he began the behavior. I didn't even realize it - as I usually don't with the partials. But my fiance did.

Is it possible he knew something was up and was alerting me to it? I don't even think he was intending to alert me that it was happening, so much as he was anxious(he's easily anxious and stressed out by out-of-the-ordinary things) about what he felt was 'off' and was trying to get reassurance and get me to put an end to it. But was this alerting? He NEVER nudges me with his head like that and he stayed with me the entire time, refusing to leave my side, either being on top of me, or laying next to me(at one point, I laid down on the couch).

No, I have NO intention of ever making him a Service Dog. I do not require a Service Dog(my seizures are few and far between, and grand mals are extremely rare with me - I have no need for the use of one) and do not ever intend to get one. I'm just curious on people's thoughts about this. It's cool if that's what happened, but I'm fine if it wasn't, lol. I'm far more concerned about his seizures than my own.
Chief- Majestix the- Impeccable


Barked: Fri Oct 26, '12 1:41pm PST 
that is an interesting situation.. really.
Most dogs are in tune with their humans to the point where they sense, see, smell, feel something is up.
If you liked this kind of behavior, you can of course train him to alert to these kind of situations reliably as some fun "trick".
You are right and it's wise not to train him for SD work.
They like learning "tricks" and if he offers and you could handle the positive feedback, have fun giving him a little on the side job. Not as a SD, but as a communication pattern between him and you.

Dogs respond differently around seizures.
Jojo became a bit skittish of me all of a sudden. That was the indicator that I had a seizure coming up. The skittishness is actually the normal response for a dog in a pack when another dog is ill.
Jolanda was the opposite. She is very subtle but became a little clingy when a seizure came up. She had puppies once and is more the motherly type.
Chief is understanding the connection between seizures and the alert training now. He has alerted me solidly with the same pattern, about three times, now. I think 5, but the solid, re-callable alerts are 3.

Jojo has gotten old and fragile, but still, we are practicing stuff and learning new things to keep her mind busy.
I have friends with dogs, who have seizures, and they do lots of fun stuff with them.
It's great to hear that he is so in tune with you.
When he does this again next time, try to settle with him together and do some deep breathing and relaxation practice. It will help him to let go and you to learn about your seizures and lessen the impact.
You can't make him stop responding to your health, but you can help him and yourself channel the stress and "excitement".
Warm wishes, sonja and the crew.

Edited by author Fri Oct 26, '12 1:44pm PST

Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
Barked: Fri Oct 26, '12 4:52pm PST 
Sadie does so many things for me I cant seem to pin point it all to any thing now.
She has in the past alerted to others seizure issues and there might have been some on me too.
The doc. are trying to see if I do have them cause my primary thinks I may have them. Though if I do the nerologest thinks their to mild to really be conserned about.
Sadie is very attentive now to me and she alerts to my sugar level consistantly now.
These both I have not had to train her for she just does it cause she is an attentive dog.
Her greatist thing she does is help me out of bed and pick thinks up for me, but then this is not always consistant as the alerting. Most of my friends love Sadie and respect what she dose for me. They see the big differents in me they have told me. Sadie love my friends and I really don't think it is cause I love these people it cause they really do love her.
But I do believe that you can not train a dog to alert to things I think it is or it is not with in them to alert to stuff.

Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Sat Oct 27, '12 1:28am PST 
Thanks for the responses guys.

Yeah, I'm definitely not into making him a Service Dog in any way whatsoever. I don't like people abusing it as it is, and prefer to be the educator and informant of what the laws actually are regarding it and the penalties of one who fakes an SD. I don't think he'd be a successful SD anyway, as great as he is. I could definitely have him alert to me at home, but I don't need him to function outside of the house, by any means. I was just curious about thoughts on his reaction.

Charlie is naturally a very attentive and sensitive dog when it comes to me. He's very, very in tune with me and that's something that our bond has built over the past, oh, almost five years I've had him. He's already got an exceptionally grand scheme of tricks, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to have him alert and let me know when I should stop, breathe and relax for a bit.

But yeah, I likely won't ever have an SD. Like I said, I don't have any need for one at all, and fully respect that there are people who need a dog to function. I'd rather continue educating people about those who DO actually need SD's. I've given several people trouble on multiple occasions for faking an SD. Even my own father, who took my dog into a store with him once, when Char had his sweater on(it was winter), and came back home to brag about it. He NEVER EVER, AGAIN walked my dog without me there. My dog IS NOT in any way fit to be an SD, or for public access(except on buses, he does great on those, but he's allowed on those legally!). He'd be a problem. laugh out loud

It's cool to hear about how different dogs react individually to the situation, though. Ria was in the kitchen when it happened, so who knows how she would have been. Charlie is generally an attention-seeker, but he's happy to laze around on the couch all day with you and doesn't outright SEEK you out or cling to you unless he REALLY needs something. But we tried to meet all his possible needs, and none of it worked, til I realized what may have been happened. I could be wrong too, it could have been him reacting to something I didn't know about, but that's the only thing I could think of after it passed.