A seizure dog is a dog that has been trained (or has learned) to respond to a seizure in someone who has epilepsy.
Is "seizure dog" the official name?
It is the name that is most often used. Some people distinguish between dogs that respond to someone who is having a seizure (seizure response dog) and dogs that appear to naturally know when a seizure is going to occur (seizure predicting dog).
What do seizure dogs do?
A response dog might be trained to bark when a child has a seizure so that family members know what is happening. Or, a seizure dog may put its body in between the seizing individual and the floor to break the fall at the inception of a seizure. Some seizure dogs may even be trained to activate some kind of pre-programmed device such as a pedal that rings an alarm.
How can someone get a seizure dog?
It depends what your goals are. If you are looking for a seizure response dog, you can discuss what you want the dog to do and work out a plan with a trainer. However, getting a dog with the special skill of recognizing seizures in advance is another matter. Any claims by trainers that they can produce this type of behavior in a dog should be looked at very carefully, especially when the training is expensive. While some people report success, others have been disappointed. More research is needed to better understand what dogs can and cannot do, whether there are differences between breeds, and how best to develop this unique skill.
For further assistance, please contact your local Epilepsy Foundation which can be located using this link.