Monday, March 9, 2015

Epilepsy Assistance Dog - Part One



The numbers are astounding. Approximately 2.3 million American adults and 476,711 children and teenagers are living with epilepsy today. Epilepsy is a seizure disorder that takes its toll on the person who has it and their family members as well, both physically and emotionally. People with epilepsy often feel depressed, isolated and lonely. The family members and caregivers feel stress, anxiety and worry. If you've seen someone have a seizure you will understand immediately why this is so.  As is true in so many instances, dogs are often amazing assistants for those with epilepsy and seizure disorders.

One place to turn for information about Epilepsy Assistance Dogs is Magnolia Paws for Compassion (http://www.magnoliapawsforcompassion.com). Their program highlights a number of illnesses where dogs can help people, particularly epilepsy and seizure disorders. 

The Program was created by Eisai, Inc., U. S. subsidiary of a Japanese pharmaceutical company, which seeks to increase access to assistance animals and raise awareness about them. They have partnered with the Epilepsy Foundation and 4 Paws for Ability, a non-profit organization focused on the training and placement of service dogs with children and veterans, to highlight the support service dogs give to people with epilepsy or seizure disorders.

Madison Landers experienced her first seizure at 18 months and went on to experience many seizures, some lasting as long as 5 hours. Madison is now eight years old and has a seizure assistance dog, Viva, through 4 Paws for Ability. Viva not only alerts the Landers family to seizures but provides Madison with comfort, independence and companionship.

Blanca R. Vazquez, M.D. is an Attending Physician in Neurology and Director of Clinical Trials and Outpatient Services at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at New York University Medical Center. She is an expert regarding the specific needs of people living with epilepsy and seizure disorders. Dr, Vazquez was kind enough to take time from her busy schedule to answer my questions.

Dr. Blanca Vazquez

"Epilepsy is a chronic condition that is characterized by unpredictable seizures. One issue patients face is that seizures are unpredictable and they can happen anywhere. Safety is a big concern for families and patients living with epilepsy as well as social isolation and fear. Having a dog can help with many of these issues by providing a sense of structure and companionship. Additionally, interaction with animals has also been shown to relieve stress and improve depression, anxiety and pain," said Dr. Vazquez.

"Caregivers often experience stress and anxiety, especially about leaving people with the condition out of their sight. Some dogs have been trained to bark or alert an individual's family when they are having a seizure, which can provide peace of mind for families who are constantly worried.

"Interaction with service animals may greatly impact the quality of life for patients living with epilepsy and their families beyond what can be measured," Dr, Vazquez adds.

Karen Shirk is 4 Paws for Ability's Executive Director. 

"At 4 Paws 90% of our dogs are purpose bred," said Shirk who responded to my questions about the dogs. "These are dogs specifically bred by 4 Paws to perform certain types of jobs.  Our dogs are bred for health, temperament and longevity. Many of the dogs we use for breeding are second and third generation 4 Paws breeding dogs. This means that their mothers/fathers, and even in many cases their grandparents were 4 Paws breeding dogs. These are dogs which were held back from service dog training to produce more puppies for 4 Paws, selected as the cream of the crop from their litter and many times because their parents produced amazing service dogs with special talents like scent work."

I asked how 4 Paws meets the needs of children with seizures.

"It means training a dog that is unique in what it does for each child. Most agencies will not work with children, especially very young children. At 4 Paws we have no minimum age requirement and believe fully in early intervention.

Karen Shirk and Piper

The Seizure Assistance Dog can do the following:

Alert the parent to seizure activity at least during the seizure and most of the time before the seizure occurs.
Provide a measure of comfort for the child.
Provide a distraction during uncomfortable medical procedures, such as blood tests.
Be used during a therapy session to enlist the child's participation.

In addition, children with seizures may be afraid of being alone, sleeping in their own beds, and engaging in activities because they might have a seizure. In these instances, dogs can give the children a little courage while helping them maintain their independence.

Sometimes a child who has extensive seizures must wear a helmet to protect from falls when playing on the playground. Or while playing with neighborhood kids, or during school recess. This could, and often does, lead to isolation. The children who lack understanding of the child's "difference" from them often avoid the child who experiences seizures. Even young children that do have friends may find themselves left behind by their peers as they get older if the seizures limit their activities or result in cognitive delays. But few children don't like dogs and the miracle that occurs when a child with a disability enters the playgrounds with their service dog is amazing. The service dog breaks the ice. Children will come to pet the dog and in doing so there is an opportunity to get to know the child and understand her disability rather than avoiding her.

Seizure Assistance Dogs are true service dogs and are allowed to go everywhere the child goes as long as an adult team member is with them (someone trained to handle the dog for the child), Shirk explained.

Essentially the dogs are trained by 4 Paws to recognize a chemical change in the body. It's a remarkable and complex process that is based on individual needs and experience of the specific child who will receive the trained dog. Seizure Assistance Dogs are typically trained for 12 - 18 months, and these service dogs are actually trained to do many things in addition to alerting to seizures. For example, many 4 Paws seizure assistance dogs are also trained to help provide stability and balance for children after a seizure, which can lead to an increased level of independence," said Karen Shirk.

For more information on Magnolia Paws for Compassion, point your browser to: 
http://www.magnoliapawsforcompassion.com/about-us

http://www.magnoliapawsforcompassion.com/compassion-at-work   

http://4pawsforability.org

http://4pawsforability.org/seizure-assistance-dog/

http://www.epilepsy.com

In Part Two you'll meet another seizure assistance dog who was trained differently. Curious? Watch for my next blog post.






24 comments:

DKSwrites2 said...

Darlene, thank you SO very much for bringing awareness to epilepsy! These dogs are amazing. I'm so glad to know about this organization.

Darlene said...

Thank you so much for your positive comment, DKSwrites. I think it's an important issue and this was just part one. :-) Stay tuned for Part Two!

Liama Jhons said...

this is great stuff, i guess every one should acknowledged this post. Lost and found

Darlene said...

Thank you, Liama Jhons. It's important to me to get this sort of information out and it's good to know that it's being read.

Darlene said...

David N. Olson, I realize you're using my blog to promote your own and get my followers to your blog which is tacky at best. However, you might try reading for comprehension before posting since it makes you look rather foolish. This multi-part blog post is about a dog who alerts her OWNER about the human's epilepsy.

Please do not post on my blog again unless you have something to say that reflects on the discussion at hand. Thank you.

Romilda Gareth said...

Thanks

Alice Taylor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ivy said...

After years of being seizure free, I think I owe the world a duty to share this testimony. It could help someone out there who needs to be free from seizures like me.
It started as a minor seizure. I was scared when I had my first seizure. First it was at the tonic phase till it became more complicated that I woke up in ER. That was when I was 9 years old. I had questions without answers. My friends who never understood what I was going through abandoned me because they were shy, and too embarrassed to associate with me. The seizures became frequent that I had more than 50 seizures a day. For 31 years I took thousands of Western Medication. It got more complicated that I had to make effort so it will not become epilepsy according to research. I went in search for a cure because I was feed up of treatments and drugs. A lot of folks told me there was no cure to seizure; that the best I could get was treatment to manage it, but I just refused to believe them. Thankfully, I read about Herbal medication for seizures and epilepsy cure. I discussed with my doctor, he permitted me to try if it will work because Western Medication had dealt with me badly. When I started using Herbal Medication the seizures was longer frequent! Within a one month, I noticed tremendous changes I never had for 30 years of using English Medicine. After several months of using Herbal medication, I became totally seizure free. For 5 years and counting, I have never had seizure not even for a second. I have been reaching out to people with seizures telling them my story how they can get cured through Herbal medication that worked for me. I got my herbal medication from Doctor Mohan. You may contact the doctor via drajaymohanbose@gmail.com

Smith Elena said...

I had my first seizure. I was in high school and didn't want anyone to know that I had epilepsy. I had seizures on two occasions. I was so ashamed and didn't want people to think that something was wrong with me. I finally got to the point where I told people that I had epilepsy. I came to the place that I realized that I had to own my epilepsy or it would control me. Epilepsy hadn't really affected my life until about 9 years ago after my first child was born... I am a wife and mother of two beautiful children. I have lived with epilepsy for 20 years Yet, my life has been dramatically impacted by epilepsy. I had search for cure online without no hope. I met a Man called DR Lewis hill, i contact him I made an order of his medicine and I do not experience seizure anymore i was cured form it. So if you are in the same situation as mine contact him on this email drlewishill247@gmail.com

Peter Emmily said...

I myself have epilepsy. Not to this extreme with grand mail seizures daily, but it still affects me in other ways daily. I am on medicine, which has slowly stopped working and I notice my twitches, blank stares, and memory loss (even in the midst of a sentence) starting to return. The side effects of this drug is noticeable and painful to deal with. It is so strong that if a normal person were to take my dose, they will die of an overdose.when i was going through the internet i come across Owens post thanking Dr Lewis hill for curing his seizure problem, and i got the contact of Dr Lewis hill and i quickly contacted him then he made me to know that the medication is 100% cure, and that was how i got the medicine which i used, after which i went for medical test It worked! Over a year now, i have not show any symptoms of seizure and I believe that am cure permanently if you need his help email him on drlewishill247@gmail.com

lily said...

I have a seizure disorder that started when I was 21, I'm now 36. I took medicines for over 15 years, I had grand mal seizures I've tried many anticonvulsants and had never been able to stop the seizures. Surgery was not an option. My seizures worsened as I aged. Yet, my life has been dramatically impacted by seizure For years, I went from Doctor to many Neurologists to an Epileptologist trying to find a cause and cure for my seizures. I tried every medication and dosage imaginable but nothing seemed to work.I was Research i read a testimony about someone on a website called www.herbalifecure.jimdo.com who was cured from seizure through herbal medicine. I contacted the doctor, and used his herbal medicine, my epilepsy became a story. Today, I am totally free from seizures after years of struggle with seizure. Thanks Dr.

jacky scob said...

Hello viewers all over the world am Jacky scob, I want to testify of what Dr Lewis hill did for me. i was having a very notorious and serious sickness called seizure and i was very in lost of hope i never believed i was going to be cured until i meant these great man called Lewis hill who God sent to help me cure my sickness . just a few moment with these great man he cured my infection His herbal remedy is the only permanent solution to Seizure. i want you to know that all hope is not lost until every thing is done if you also have these following infections contact his email drlewishill247@gmail.com

PAUL said...

NATURAL & EFFECTIVE TREATMENT TO SEIZURE: Our son has temporal lobe epilepsy, He has seizure and had a grand mal with rage, Our son's seizure is constant throughout the day according to EEG results. We had used several medicine which include: 600 Epitol 100 Zarontin,
150 Epitec X2 Daily, Topomax lasted for about 3 days, but I put an end to that due to my son losing weight and being lethargic. I recently got dr williams herbal medicine,that's a natural medicine that cure my son Epilepsy with no side effect. It is an herbal medicine. it is a permanent cure and effective treatment of Epilepsy, for more info, you can also contact Dr.William with this email drwilliams098765@gmail.com for advice and his product

Alecia Madonado said...

Don’t think of anything else just contact Dr Abalaka and purchase some of his herbal medication and your depression will go away. This was my state of mind when my doctor told me that i will not be able to conceive due to the Fibroid that was rolling in my family life and when i decide to reach out to the priest, and the Priest told me what to do in other to get the medication. Eventually I receive all the Herbal medications that cure my Fibroid and give me the chance to become a proud mother: Dr Abalaka is a great spiritualist, He did it for me, you can contact Dr on (dr.abalaka@outlook.com). If you are suffering from the following gynecology disease::
Fibroid
High Blood Pressure (herbs to reduce your BP within 7days)
Diabetes
Infection, regular body pains
Blockage from the fallopian Tube
Cyst from the ovaries
Unpleasant smell from the virginal
Irregular menstruation
Weakness of the penis (not able to have sex with your partner or inability to satisfy your partner sexually)
Watering sperm (low sperm count) not able to get woman pregnant.
Infertility for easy Conception.......
Erectile dysfunction treatment
Skin diseases, Toilet infection and bad body odor…….Etc..
Get your ex back
Happiness in relationship
Command respect in the society
Enlarge your Penis/breast with no side effect
Impotent solution
Obesity solution
Romanticism solutions
Cancer of the blood
Epilepsy
Parkinson disease
General consultation
Those are the things he does, You can simply contact the spiritualist Dr Abalaka on (dr.abalaka@outlook.com) to get his Herbal Medication to cure your disease and put yourself on a motherhood side of life..

kim Park said...

THANKS TO DR EWOIG FOR CURING MY SON
My son has partial epilepsy for the past 18 years. Dr's have tried various means but he has seizures almost every month. The first epileptic occurred when he was five years old. i took him to a specialist who subscribed anti-epileptic medication. From then on he had to take four capsules per day, but most of the time he had seizures until I got to know about Dr.ewoig product to cure epilepsy. we order for the product, now i can tell you my son is now living a better life thanks to dr ewoig His herbal remedy is the only permanent solution to Seizure. You can always contact him through his email for more information(drewoig18@gmail.com)

karen dish said...

WOW ALL THANKS TO DR WILLIAMS I HAVE NEVER BELIEVE IN HERBAL REMEDIES.
my son have been a patient of epilepsy . I had tried a lot of anti viral med prescribed to me by doctors over how many years now but I could not see any improvements in my son symptoms. One day while going through the internet , i got to know about this great Herbal Dr who uses his herbal remedies in curing people from epilepsy,quickly i contacted him and he prepared a herbal medication for my son which i received and he used it as instructed by dr williams. After few weeks the improvement were very visible. the sleepiness and the abnormal behavior stooped ,on thing now he is so full of life. I would recommend this to all my friends,families,around the globe suffering from epilepsy.you can contact him through his email on drwilliams098675@gmail.com.for advice and for his product THANKS TO YOU ONCE AGAIN DR WILLIAMS

SOPHIE LEWIS said...

I am Sophie from Canada, I once suffered from a terrible and Chronic epilepsy ,since i was bone , the doctor told me there was no permanent cure i was given medications to slow down its progress, i constantly felt my health was deteriorating as i constantly go out of breath,and this illness was really terrible especially when am going out with my friends, i have this constant disorder for about 31 years, this was really a terrible illness ,on thin one day that i was going through the internet,and i came across a post of Mrs Kate on how his son was been cured from epilepsy through the help of Dr Williams herbal product, I contacted this herbal doctor via his email and explain everything to him and make purchase of his product,few days later he sent me the herbal medicine through courier service, when i received the herbal medicine i used it for 4 weeks as prescribed and i was totally cured of epilepsy within those week of usage,on thin now i have not experience any sign of seizure.if you need his help you can Contact this herbal doctor via his email drwilliams098675@gmail.com for help

JOHNSON KATE said...

Am One of the happiest woman on earth since my son was cured from the problem of seizure,which he has been having for eight years now,he do have the attack two to three times a week,which is affecting is education and his life.i got the contact of a doctor from the post of one Mr paul thanking him for curing his seizure problem,i got the contact and contacted him then he made me to know that the medication is a permanent cure, and that was how i got the medication which i used on my son,and for six month now there have been no sign of seizure in him again.any one with such problem can contact him on his email drwilliams098675@gmail.com

marian jack said...

My son recently started having grand Mal seizures at 17 years old. We were prescribed Kepler. We decided NOT to take the medicine and go with a Modified Atkins Diet that entails feeding our son 15 carbs a day with lots of healthy fat. He eats a lot of grass fed beef, free range eggs, organic low crab veggies and is doing fantastic! We could tell a difference in him by the 3rd day. This is not alternative or junk science. Dr. Lewis hill at Johns Hopkins has been championing this diet for years and has been really successful. Doctors are really resistant to this therapy but it works!. Read "Grain Brain" for why it works. He also takes taurine which helped stop the night time teeth grinding, jerking, and unrest in his sleep (also known to stop seizures). And he takes cur cumin as a brain protestant that raises seizures.one day came across Albert post thanking Dr Lewis hill for curing his son seizure problem, and i got the contact of Dr Lewis hill i quickly contacted him then he made me to know that the medication is 100% permanent cure, and that was how i got the medicine which i used for my son, after which i took my son for medical test It worked! Over a year now, my son have not show any symptoms of seizure and I believe my son is cure if you need his help email him on drlewishill247@gmail.com

Jessical Alba said...

ALL THANKS TO DR WILLIAMS FOR THE GREAT DEED HE HAVE DON FOR MY FAMILY.This information will be useful for Epilepsy patients who is willing to use herbal medicine. My daughter had temporal lobe epilepsy, She had seizure and had a grand mal with rage episode. Our daughter's seizure is constant throughout the day. We had used several medicine which include: Epilim and Keppra, experience seizure control at the cost of serious debilitating side effects. It was during a casual conversation with a friend that I learned about herbal Dr. William,who uses herbal medicine in curing people from epilepsy,i was so glad to contact him on his email and make an order for his medication, it does not have any side effect. I am so glad to say that she has been seizure-free since July 2015 after taking William medicine. this a miracle cure?contact him for more detail (drwilliams098675@gmail.com) thanks once again admin for such an informative blog.

karen dish said...

WOW ALL THANKS TO DR WILLIAMS I HAVE NEVER BELIEVE IN HERBAL REMEDIES.
my son have been a patient of epilepsy . I had tried a lot of anti viral med prescribed to me by doctors over how many years now but I could not see any improvements in my son symptoms. One day when going through the internet , i got to know about this great Herbal Dr who uses his herbal remedies in curing people from epilepsy,quickly i contacted him and he prepared a herbal medication for my son which i received and he used it as instructed by dr williams. After few weeks the improvement were very visible. the sleepiness and the abnormal behavior stooped ,on thing now he is so full of life. I would recommend this to all my friends,families,around the globe suffering from epilepsy.you can contact him through his email on drwilliams098675@gmail.com.for advice and for his product THANKS TO YOU ONCE AGAIN DR WILLIAMS

NITA said...

Dear FRIENDS,
now i have a beautiful smiling face and so are which you all, after reading my testimony. My name is Nita, I am 31 years old,
And live with my boyfriend in Belgium, but I am UK. I have been diagnosed with epilepsy since birth, which the Doctors told me this condition was forever. I know how you feel and what you are going through, I don't have a baby though. I just want to tell you that I am cured now,with the help of doctor williams herbal medication, the last time I can remember having epilepsy was January this year. It was a long and difficult process but I am so thankful to dr williams I don't have it anymore. Please know you can be cured too. Accept what happened and is happening to you, forgive, let the past go, love yourself and others unconditionally and be thankful. Everything happens for a reason. If you want to be in contact with dr williams and share your own testimony and thoughts feel free to e-mail him on; drwilliams098675@gmail.com for advice and for his product.

PAUL said...

NATURAL & EFFECTIVE TREATMENT TO SEIZURE: Our son has temporal lobe epilepsy, He has seizure and had a grand mal with rage, Our son's seizure always occur twice in a week according to EEG results. We had used several medicine which include: 600 Epitol 100 Zarontin,
150 Epitec X2 Daily, Topomax lasted for about 3 days, but I put an end to that due to my son losing weight and being lethargic. I recently got dr williams herbal medicine,that's a natural medicine that cure my son Epilepsy with no side effect. It is an herbal medicine. it is a permanent cure and effective treatment of Epilepsy, for more info, you can also contact Dr.William with this email drwilliams098675@gmail.com for advice and his product

Jessical Alba said...

ALL THANKS TO DR WILLIAMS FOR THE GREAT DEED HE HAVE DON FOR MY FAMILY.This information will be useful for Epilepsy patients who is willing to use herbal medicine. My daughter had temporal lobe epilepsy, She had seizure and had a grand mal with rage episode. Our daughter's seizure is constant throughout the day. We had used several medicine which include: Epilim and Keppra, experience seizure control at the cost of serious debilitating side effects. It was during a casual conversation with a friend that I learned about herbal Dr. William,who uses herbal medicine in curing people from epilepsy,i was so glad to contact him on his email and make an order for his medication, it does not have any side effect. I am so glad to say that she has been seizure-free since July 2015 after taking William medicine. this a miracle cure?contact him for more detail (drwilliams098675@gmail.com) thanks once again admin for such an informative blog.