Do dogs know before they have a seizure?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

Dogs have a remarkable ability to sense changes in their environment, including changes within their own bodies. It is believed that dogs can indeed sense when they are about to have a seizure, although the exact mechanisms behind this ability are not fully understood.

One possible explanation is that dogs are extremely sensitive to subtle changes in their owners’ behavior and body language. They may pick up on cues such as increased heart rate, sweating, or changes in scent that occur prior to a seizure. Dogs are known to have a highly developed sense of smell, and they can detect chemical changes in the body that may occur before a seizure.

In addition, dogs have been found to be highly attuned to changes in electrical activity in the brain. It is possible that they can sense the abnormal electrical activity that occurs during a seizure before it becomes outwardly apparent. This could explain why some seizure-alert dogs are able to provide an early warning to their owners.

There have been numerous reports of dogs displaying unusual behavior or acting differently in the moments leading up to a seizure. Some dogs may become restless, anxious, or clingy, while others may become more withdrawn or seek out a safe space. These behavioral changes may be a result of the dog’s ability to sense the impending seizure.

It is important to note that not all dogs are capable of alerting their owners to an oncoming seizure. It is believed that only a small percentage of dogs have this ability, and it is not fully understood why some dogs have it while others do not.

If you are someone who experiences seizures and are considering getting a seizure-alert dog, it is important to understand that not all dogs are suitable for this role. It requires a dog with a strong bond to its owner, a high level of intelligence and trainability, and the ability to remain calm and focused in potentially stressful situations.

While the exact mechanisms behind a dog’s ability to sense an oncoming seizure are not fully understood, there is evidence to suggest that some dogs are able to detect subtle changes in their environment or their owner’s behavior that occur before a seizure. This ability can be incredibly valuable for individuals who experience seizures, as it can provide them with a warning and allow them to take necessary precautions.