An Irish family has said their pet dog is helping to protect their three-year-old daughter by warning them when she is about to have an epileptic seizure.
The Lynch family, from County Clare, believe their Great Dane, Charlie, can sense changes in their child up to 20 minutes before she has a fit.
Brianna Lynch has epilepsy since birth.
Her family said Charlie will alert them by walking in circles around Brianna. He also gently pins her against a wall to stop her from falling during a fit.
The dog shows a very noticeable response about 20 minutes before an episode. Does he know and how does he know? It’s not clear but there is some data that shows some dogs can pick up subtle cues of seizures, low blood sugar and cancer. These are debatable because testing has not been thorough. There is a plausible mechanism for the blood sugar levels.
Dr Guest said it had been established that dogs could detect human odour changes in cancer and diabetes patients but said it was not yet clear how some dogs could predict epileptic fits.
Again, only SOME dogs. This is what makes it even more difficult to study. It is a very interesting story but it’s not clear that he does this every time or if he misses some or gives false alarms. Regardless, he really is part of the family and is protective. Amazing that we have animals that behave like this. Remarkable.
Tip: CJ @SpaceBoy5000 on Twitter