A recent study shows, that some dogs can predict epileptic seizures in children. And they not only protect their charges from different kinds of injuries, but also help kids to stand the every-day struggle with dreaded illness.
Corresponding to reuters.co.uk, in a small survey, some parents of children with the seizure disorder reported that the family dog changed its behavior in response to a child's seizure or even before the seizure occurred.
Bloomberg.com quotes, that despite the encouraging results of the survey, the lead author warned against making too much of the results. "We're really trying to downplay the significance of this study," Dr. Adam Kirton of Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary told Reuters Health in an interview.
According to newscientist.com, one family said its Sheltie-Spitz would sit on their toddler and prevent her from standing prior to an attack. An Akita pushed a young girl away from stairs 15 minutes before a seizure, while one family's dedicated Great Pyrenees wouldn't leave the side of their 3-year-old, even forgoing food and water for hours before a convulsion, the researchers said.
The dogs' other common responses included licking the child's face and whimpering, the study said. While none of the dogs had been trained to detect seizures, Kirk said the researchers plan further studies to determine if dogs can be trained to anticipate or respond to seizures.
Dog breeds that were capable of alerting a family to an imminent seizure included golden retriever, standard poodle, German shepherd, Akita, rough collie, Rottweiler, cairn terrier and Great Pyrenees.