Seizure-alert dogs--fact or fiction?

Seizure. 1999 Feb;8(1):62-5. doi: 10.1053/seiz.1998.0250.


Anecdotal evidence suggests that some dogs may be able to sense the onset of seizures and other medical conditions in humans, although this has never been explored scientifically. There is, however, evidence that dogs can be specially trained to recognize specific changes preceding a seizure and give an overt signal enabling the dog to warn his/her owner. The introduction of the use of dogs to detect and accurately predict the onset of a seizure, giving sufficient time for a person to take control of the situation will have a dramatic impact on quality of life. Support Dogs, a registered charity which trains dogs to assist disabled people, has successfully trained several 'Seizure-alert dogs'. As training progressed, the dogs were able to provide overt signals to their owners within time periods varying from 15 to 45 minutes prior to a seizure occurring. Each dog had an accurate prediction time and, in each case, the owner's seizure frequency was reduced.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Dogs*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Seizures / diagnosis*