A new study shows dogs may be able to anticipate seizures in children with epilepsy.The most common response behavior from the dogs in this study was licking, often of the face, followed by decreased motor activity, whimpering, and "protective" behavior without aggression. In previous studies, owners of seizure-sensitive dogs reported that licking may abort or even prevent their seizures. Some breeds of seizure-alerting canines include Golden Retriever, Standard Poodle, German Shepard, Rough Collie, Rottweiler, Cairn Terrier, and Great Pyrenees.
About 40 percent of patients in the study reported seizure-specific reaction from their dogs. About 15 percent of the dogs overall showed the ability to anticipate a seizure in the children they lived with. The study also shows quality of life was higher in families with a dog that responded to seizures. Researchers also found that in dogs anticipation occurred early and was both sensitive and specific.
Investigators conclude saying that new and controversial research has begun to explore the abilities of animals to sense human brain activities