Dog predicts epileptic owner’s fits

August 24, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

An epileptic woman is able to predict when she is about to have a fit after she discovered an early warning system – her pet DOG.

Janice Gardener, 47, has suffered up to five seizures every day since she was hurt in a severe riding accident 18 months ago.

She regularly wakes up bruised and battered – and once with two cracked teeth – after fitting and landing on the floor.

But she is now able to tell when she is about to have a seizure – thanks to her pet terrier called Titch.

The mum-of-three noticed the 14-year-old dog would jump, bark and lick her face seconds before every fit.

Janice thinks the dog has learned to detect minute changes in her body odour produced by a chemical imbalance prior to the attacks.

She said: ”It is really bizarre – at first I just thought she wanted attention. She jumps up before I know it is even going to happen.

”Now when she jumps up I just think, ‘oh, here we go’. We are every close – we make a very good pair.”

Janice began having fits after falling from her horse 18 months ago and underwent 28 operations on a back injury.

She was left with severe back pain but the medication she takes to combat the agony also causes her to regularly have seizures.

She says she regularly wakes up ”black and blue” after a fit and once cracked two front teeth when she fell to the floor.

But now when Titch begins to jump up, bark and lick her face for no apparent reason she is able to prepare herself and take anti-seizure medication.

She thinks Titch – who recently won best veteran at a local dog show – is a natural ‘alert dog’ – a role which normally requires specific training.

A Sheffield-based charity called Support Dogs trains seizure alert dogs as part of their programme.

Category: News

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